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Months after being shuttered due to COVID-19, more Kingston businesses, activities reopening

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Friday is a big day for more businesses and activities when it comes to emerging from the COVID-19 lockdown.

Patios, shopping malls and personal care salons are ramping up to reopen, while Kingston’s mosque is also opening up for worship.

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Imam AbuBakar Mulla with the Islamic Centre of Kingston says they’re ready, but with plenty of restrictions — whether it’s filling out a coronavirus questionnaire, checking temperatures at the door or social distancing everywhere, including in the main prayer hall.

“We have to ensure that we are able to safely open up the mosque ensuring everyone’s safety, so we’re following Ontario guidelines to the T,” Mulla said.

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“We’ve actually taken steps further than what they asked for, just to make sure they’re safe and we’re also safe.”

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At the Merchant Tap House, meanwhile, it’s some last minute details that need to be taken care of, like spray-washing the upper patio, taping distance markers at the entrance or wiping down tables.

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Jared Haird, the general manager of the downtown establishment, says they’ve done everything by the book, including plenty of signage and properly spacing the outside tables .

“Our biggest concern right now is making sure that we know everything we need to know,” Haird said.

“We’re taking care of everybody when they come here, just to make sure the Merchant is a safe place for them to dine because we want to have everybody back. We want to have a good time as long as it’s safe.”

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Personal care services will also open up and that’s good news for Binhs Nails and Spa. Binh Nguyen says she has taken every precaution to keep her customers safe, whether it’s getting their nails done or a pedicure.

Nguyen says she’s already booked solid for her first day back in business.

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