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COVID-19: Nova Scotia hair salon fined despite going to ‘great lengths’ to appear closed

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A hair salon in Windsor, N.S., has been fined $11,622.50 for continuing to operate at a time when all non-essential businesses and services have been ordered to close during a surge of COVID-19 cases.

In a release, the RCMP said officers with West Hants District RCMP were notified shortly after 2 p.m. on May 6 that a personal service business was operating, contrary to public health restrictions.

The business owner “went to great lengths” to appear closed, but it didn’t work.

“Lights off, signs up saying ‘We’re closed,’ that kind of stuff, and I think there might have been some obscuring of windows to make it look like there was nobody around,” RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Chris Marshall said in an interview.

“And through the investigation, it was determined that that wasn’t actually the case.”

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Read more: Police fine 26 people and a church after illegal faith gathering in Nova Scotia

Marshall couldn’t say if there were customers at the business at the time, but there were no individuals charged in the case.

However, he said while it’s the responsibility of the business to close, someone can still be fined under the Health Protection Act — which carries a fine of $2,000 for individuals — if they go to a business that should be closed.

“I mean, the restrictions are publicly available, so everybody should know that you can’t go to a hair salon right now, unfortunately, which I realize is probably tough on people — people need to get their hair done, me included,” he said.

“But if you were there at a business that should be closed … then yes, you can certainly be subjected to an individual fine as well.”

More fines in Halifax

Meanwhile, Halifax Regional Police issued three summary offence tickets over the weekend for people failing to follow the Health Protection Act.

In one case, officers responded to a report of a man not wearing a mask while in public areas of his Bedford-area apartment building on the morning of May 7. Current regulations require everyone to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth while present in a public place.

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The 40-year-old man was issued a summary offence ticket for failing to comply with the act, which carries a fine of $2,000.

That same day, Halifax Regional Police officers responded to a report of a 17-year-old who was not self-isolating as required by the Department of Health. The teen was ticketed for not complying with the act.

Two days later, officers responded to another report that the teen was not self-isolating, and they were given another ticket.

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