The Winnipeg barber who thought he’d found a creative way to pursue his craft while staying within public health restrictions has had his plan nixed by the province.
Jeremy Regan, owner of Hunter & Gunn Barbershop on Broadway, told 680 CJOB Thursday morning his business has been closed for seven of the last 14 months as it continues to struggle with the ups and downs of the province’s COVID-19 restrictions.
Regan said he had received over 1,000 requests from the public to participate in a novel “yard cuts” project, where he would visit clients at home and cut their hair — following all safety precautions — in their own backyards.
Later that day, however, Public Health caught wind of the idea.
“Unfortunately, I got quite a threatening call from public health and I can no longer pursue my dream of paying my mortgage,” Regan tweeted Thursday afternoon.
“I will still take up all the offers to come have a beer with all my great clients the next couple of weeks though Lord knows I need it. My apologies to all who reached out.
“It was fun while it lasted.”
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In a statement, Public Health said the physical closeness between hairdresser and customer means haircuts — even outdoors — are still a no-no.
“Personal services such as haircuts are not allowed under the public health orders due to the proximity required for the service,” health officials said.
“Outdoor gathering sizes will be relaxed June 12, however, that does not signal a return to normal activity for Manitobans.
“Public health orders remain in place to reduce COVID-19 cases and the strain on the healthcare system.”
Manitoba’s newly announced reopening plan, delivered by Premier Brian Pallister and chief public health officer Brent Roussin on Thursday, will be tied to first- and second-dose vaccination targets.
Businesses, services and facilities will be first allowed to open at 25 per cent of capacity by Canada Day, provided 70 per cent of all Manitobans 12 and over have received their first shot, and 25 per cent have received their second shot.
The reopening strategy, however, doesn’t specify exactly which businesses, services, and facilities will be allowed to open as targets are hit — something Roussin said was done intentionally to allow for “flexibility” in the plan.