Salons, body rub parlours ordered to close with extension of Edmonton state of emergency
EDMONTON -- The City of Edmonton is extending its week-long state of local emergency and ordering all “personal service” businesses – like cosmetic shops and body rub parlours – to close.
The special emergency advisory committee voted Thursday to renew the local emergency status until April 3.
Tattoo parlours, hair and nail salons, barber shops, tanning salons, health spas and body rub parlours were all ordered to shut down as non-essential businesses by the acting city manager, who is enabled to do so under the crisis declaration.
The order does not apply to massage therapy clinics or physiotherapy centres, although the city said these were being closely monitored.
Mayor Don Iveson, who spoke via video conference afterwards, said while he understands many people who work at these kinds of businesses are self employed or work from home, the order is a matter of public health safety.
"Whether it's a massage, or whether it's a body rub, or whether it's tattooing, or whether it's getting your hair cut, it's impossible to do that from two metres away."
Services that are considered essential by the city, and therefore allowed to stay open, include grocers and pharmacies, telecom and IT providers, financial services, and businesses involved in utility and petroleum supply.
Construction is also allowed to continue.
The city is reissuing orders to residents to respect self-isolation rules implemented by the federal and provincial governments, as well as mandates to practice physical distancing of two metres. Wednesday, the province announced it'd be giving community peace officers and police the ability to enforce the rules.
Adam Laughlin, acting city manager, said the logistics of enforcement were still being worked out, but reinforced that they apply to park spaces and shopping centres.
"The delineation there is if you're with your family. I mean, it'll be a question we'll ask: Is this your family? Is this your relationship?"
Edmonton’s emergency advisory committee has been meeting weekly. During Thursday’s update, the group heard hundreds have passed through the EXPO Centre since it opened Monday as an overflow shelter.
As of Thursday morning, 25 people were using the centre’s self-isolation space. A day before, a total of more than 420 people were counted in the day-shelter.
The City of Edmonton first enacted a state of local emergency on Friday March 20. It is discussing the option of making the local emergency declaration 30-days long so it does not need to be renewed weekly.
Provincial money is also helping The Mustard Seed expand its non-symptomatic overnight shelter at Kinsmen Sports Centre to 180 mats. Its first night of operation was Thursday. The Mustard Seed said it cost about $35 to provide one person a mat, clean bedding and breakfast, and was asking Edmontonians to donate to the effort if they could.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson