N.B. businesses prepare for safe reopening during 'yellow phase'
FREDERICTON, N.B. -- New Brunswick continues to press forward with its reopening plan. Now in its 'yellow' phase, the province's residents can get a hair cut, enjoy a day at the spa and expand their social bubble. However, some personal service businesses are reluctant to open until they have their COVID-19 precautions perfectly in place.
In the 28 years that Fox's Barbershop has sat on Queen Street in downtown Fredericton, it's operated entirely on walk-ins. However, those needing a haircut are now being encouraged to call ahead.
"I'll probably space the appointments out a little bit to give myself time to sanitize and stuff in between haircuts," says Fox's Barbershop owner, Bob DeLong.
DeLong says he plans on having only two customers inside his shop at a time – despite the economic damage being closed for two months, with no customers, has done to his business.
"Things are a little tight," says DeLong. "But that's to be expected."
On Friday, Premier Blaine Higgs made the announcement that the province would move into phase "yellow" – allowing residents to expand their bubbles with inside gatherings of 10 close family and friends. The new phase also permits hair salons, barbers, tattoo parlours, and spas to reopen.
Meanwhile, gyms, yoga and dance studios, rinks, water parks and swimming pools have to wait another week – frustrating gyms like Dynamic Training Centre, which was originally on the list of permitted businesses, but was swapped out.
"All of a sudden, the gym is now closed again, because they decided to stick us in a different category," said a Dynamic Training Centre staff member in a video posted to social media.
Dynamic Training Centre had already booked clients, with many of those clients being injury victims working on their recovery. The company hopes the province will keep its promise and give permission for the gym to reopen soon.
Meanwhile, seasonal residents hoping to return to N.B., haven't received a date for when they can re-enter the province.
"We weren't ready, collectively, to make that decision at this time," said Higgs on Friday.
Meanwhile, according to a recent report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, 44 per cent of businesses in N.B. were fully operational as of May 21.