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Regina businesses adjusting to COVID-19 restrictions being lifted

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WATCH: All COVID-19 restrictions in Saskatchewan are almost set to be lifted and that has some Regina business owners adjusting their game plans – Jul 9, 2021

With less than a week until all COVID-19 restrictions, including mask mandates, are lifted throughout Saskatchewan, small business owners are preparing for a new normal.

The mask mandate lifts on Sunday but at Perimeters Studio in Regina, it will be business as usual.

“It’s going to be a little difficult, we feel, with some guests that may not want to, so we’re going to request that guests wear masks, but we are definitely wearing ours,” the salon’s owner Tamara Lomenda-Camacho said.

Read more: Regina business to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination from in-person patrons

Groovy Mama, a shop that specializes in items for babies and mothers, will also be encouraging but not enforcing masks, and has some reservations about the mandate being lifted.

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“My biggest concern is that my clientele is either trying to get pregnant, pregnant or has a newborn or small children,” owner Cara Zimmerman said. “So they’re people that are very vulnerable in the community and I’m worried that the majority of people are going to be concerned going into businesses once masks are lifted.”

Regina Mayor Sandra Masters knows that come Sunday, some businesses will want to continue to have masks for both their staff and customers and says people need to respect that.

“If we consider that those aged 12 and under are still not vaccinated, you can appreciate some parents and some individuals who come into close contact with the public would want to continue that measure because COVID-19 is still present,” she said.

Read more: Regina Mayor Sandra Masters wins vaccine lip sync challenge against Charlie Clark

Zimmerman says the restriction lift is putting her in a bind, leaving the heavy weight of the “to mask or not to mask” decision on business owners’ shoulders.

“Unfortunately, as a small business owner, I don’t think that any choice I make will result in anything but me losing customers,” she said.

For Lomenda-Camacho, the main concern is avoiding another outbreak and keeping her doors open.

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“I think there’s some reservations for sure about the mandate lifting, I feel like we’re happy to be open but there’s a concern that as a small business that we need to stay open,” she said.

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