Government of Alberta: Hairdressers and Barbers should NOT be in phase 1

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Hairstylists and Barbers are members of the Personal Service Industry, where social distancing is NOT possible.

We are calling on the Alberta government not to include hairstylists and barbers in the first phase of economic reopening. Salons and Barber shops are NOT an essential right now. There's no way we can use social distancing and keep a 2 meter distance from our clients nor the staff.

We need to take thoughtful steps, as we have this far. We hope that our government continues to be measured and informed in their decisions to benefit and protect us. Like those of the government of California, where the salon industry will remain closed until later phases, after success is observed first in businesses who can operate within social distancing guidelines. Actions like these will undoubtedly help to reduce strain on our healthcare system and ensure we can continue to move forward economically, not backwards.

Our government has to understand that a decision to reopen salons first would put our communities and economy at greater risk than benefit.

Will stylists have continued, unfettered access to personal protective equipment in Alberta? Will access to widespread testing be made more available? Will workers and their families who are compromised be supported? Will people in a non-essential sector have to risk illness, death and heightened community spread because they have no choice but to touch large volumes of clients in enclosed areas? Areas that also recirculate air from air conditioners and blow dryers? It is essential that these questions are answered before hair professionals return to work and put themselves as well as loved ones and clients at great risk. 

We urge the government to rethink the decision of allowing hair professionals to go back to work at this time. 

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