Closed Barbershops Rebrand To Work Around Canadian COVID-19 Rules
Pet Grooming? Filming Set? These Barbershops Found Loopholes To Stay Open
While personal services were shut down in areas of Canada to slow the spread of COVID-19, two Canadian barbershops found loopholes and rebranded their businesses to continue seeing clients.
In Toronto, Ontario where professional hair salons and barbershops have been closed since around Christmas, Chrome Artistic Barbering transformed its space into a visual production studio.
“We’re not offering haircut appointments,” owner Alicia Hirter told CTV News, “we’re offering full auditions.” Customers get their hair cut while being filmed and must take a COVID-19 test and sign a talent release form. They are not required to wear masks, because Ontario’s policies consider performers to be exempt from the mask mandate. Footage from the studio may be used in the future as part of a documentary or podcast, Newsweek reported.
A spokesperson from the regional public health department said there is an “active investigation” into Chrome Artistic Barbering.
Another shop in Innisfail, Alberta took a different approach after being shut down on Dec. 13. Bladez to Fadez Barbershop rebranded as a pet grooming shop to work around the province’s public health orders, CTV reported.
An Alberta Health representative visited Bladez to Fadez and threatened to issue fines of up to $5,000 per day. The shop has since reopened legally when personal service closures were lifted in Alberta on Jan. 18.
Ontario is the only Canadian province to still have a personal service provider shutdown, after another Jan. 14 stay-at-home order mandated closure for “at least 28 days.” Currently, provinces where personal services are permitted are Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwestern Territories, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Yukon. Provinces experiencing partial salon and barbershop mandates are Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nunavut and Quebec. Follow professional hair shutdowns in Canada using BTC’s Canada Reopening Map here.