Hair salon owners report back on 'due diligence' required for first day of relaunch
EDMONTON -- Before customers of a local beauty salon could legally get their hair cut for the first time in months on Thursday, they had to sign a waiver form recognizing the risk of contracting COVID-19.
First, HQ Salonspa customers in Sherwood Park were greeted by a sign on the door; the waiting room was closed.
Inside, they followed an arrow to a hand sanitizing station and were given a mask.
At the front desk – separated from the receptionist by a plastic barrier – they signed the waiver, then were led to a chair by an employee armed with their own mask and sanitizer.
At reduced capacity, all stations were distanced by two metres.
Staff who had chosen to come back to work cleaned their tools between clients.
"I think we’ve done as much as we possibly can up and above what the government regulations have been," said owner Mark Buhler.
It’s his review of how the first day of relaunch went, after two months of no business and just days to prepare for reopening.
"Finding the adequate masks, disinfectants and so forth it’s – there’s a real lack of it throughout. But we’re prepared enough and we’re ready to go," Buhler commented.
To be in such a public space again, with such rigorous rules, didn’t unnerve one of the business’first clients.
"I am a nurse so I’ve been dealing with this since it started. So the whole mask get up isn’t too different for me. Just kind of another day it at work," Brooke Stenson told CTV News Edmonton.
Plus, she added, it's nice to be out of the house.
"As long as it’s done safely, it’s fine. I am happy things are opening up for sure."
That's the mindset of the owners of both HQ Salonspa and Sherwood Park's Concrete Blonde Hair and Body.
Although the latter businesses decided to wait until the May 19 to open, they wanted to take time to ensure the government wouldn’t roll back its plans and to restock and prepare staff.
Owner Chad Stewart is also finding masks and disinfectant supplies difficult to source given high demand – but that takes backseat to the relief of working again.
"We wished we had them a little bit sooner to prepare," he commented, "but you know what? We’re pretty cool with it. We’re just so exciting to get back doing what we love."
So are clients.
"Let’s just say on Tuesday when we announced we’d be reopening the 19th, there was four of us answering calls and we had 293 voicemails."
Concrete Blonde Hair and Body is booked at half capacity for the next three weeks.
HQ Salonspa, too, is booked until the end of May. If all goes well, that business will book clients into June, too.
"If everyone performs and does their due diligence in regards to this. We have to get the economy going and up and running and I’m more than happy to get back to work," Buhler offered as a caveat.
"I think it’s a good time to get the economy going again, using all precautions, I think we’re going to be fine."
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Nicole Weisberg