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London Ont. hairdressers ready to get back to work with Step 2 reopening plans in place

In this file photo, salon professionals can be seen working inside with clients in the midst of athe COVID-19 pandemic. Getty Images

With the province moving ahead of schedule with Step 2 in its reponing plan, hair salons and other personal care services in London Ont. are ready and willing to reopen their doors.

On Thursday morning, the provincial government announced Ontario will move to the next step of the reopening plan on Wednesday, June 30 at 12:01 a.m.

The move comes two days earlier than expected as the province has surpassed its Step 2 reopening threshold of needing 70 per cent of all eligible Ontario residents to have their first COVID-19 vaccine dose and 20 per cent of residents with two.

On Wednesday, health officials reported first-dose coverage for adults aged 18 and older hit over 76 per cent with over 27 per cent second-dose coverage for adults.

Read more: Ontario to officially move into Step 2 of reopening plan on June 30

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The early reopening is welcome move for business who have been unable to operate during the last shut down.

Amie Sans owner of Hair Haus Salon and Spa said despite the short notice, they are excited to reopen and help people rein in their COVID grooming habits.

“Clients are so excited to get back, everyone has been calling, they are very frantic to get in so everyone is really looking forward to the opening,” Sans said.

“Everyone is very desperate, the want to get in get manicures, pedicures, get their eye brows waxed again and get haircuts — everyone has grey hair.”

Sans said she was able to access some of the government supports during the pandemic, but it was a small amount compared to what they would make if they were open.

“I think it was real shame to have (salons) closed of so long because we are already trained in disinfection and we always follow close guidelines around safety, so I think they should have been open in this last lockdown.”

Read more: MLHU set to expand 2nd-dose COVID-19 vaccine re-booking as Delta variant gains ground

Other Salon owners like Hyacinth Henry, owner of GT Hair Boutique has experienced similar struggles during lockdown.

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“It’s been nerve racking because with salons not being able to open, you’re not working so it’s hard to make the bills and the income is a lot less than what you normally would have.”

Since the announcement Henry said her phone has been ringing off the hook with clients trying to book an appointment.

“My clients are happy, and I am happy because everyone can walk around now looking and feeling good,” Henry said.

“Hair is not just about doing the hair; it’s talking about life and the community and there is a social aspect.”

Henry said for some of her older clients the salon is place for them to be social which had been difficult for them to do during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more: What you can do and when under Ontario’s new 3-phase COVID-19 reopening plan

Under phase two, personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times can open with 25 per cent capacity.

London medial office of Health Dr. Chris Mackie said the reopening is a good step for the area.

“I think it’s right time to do this, we can’t stay locked down forever and we are seeing low rates,” Mackie said.

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With files from Gabby Rodrigues

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