Copper Lane Hair Studio in Lacombe owner Lane Tomalty is excited, but nervous to reopen in phase one of the provincial COVID-19 relaunch strategy. (Photo courtesy: Copper Lane Facebook)

Lacombe salon owner excited, but very nervous to reopen

Salons were included in phase one of the provincial relaunch strategy

A Lacombe salon owner says shes excited but very nervous to reopen their services in stage one of the Province of Alberta’s relaunch plan.

Lane Tomalty, owner of Copper Lane Hair Studio in Lacombe and Red Deer, said she has a lot of reservations and doesn’t feel the Government understands the close contact stylists have with their clients.

Tomalty said they will not be opening up on the proposed May 14 day, with a tentative opening set for May 20 to accommodate the many changes they need to make to their business and also, hopefully, receive more guidance from the province.

“We need a lot more guidance from the government in order for us to confidently move forward. We need means to secure PPE, sanitation products, hand sanitizer and all those other things that are currently in high demand. Everyone is vying for the same supplies at the moment,” she said

Despite the need for guidance, Tomalty’s salons are being proactive so they can be ready to open. Typically, the three stylists in Lacombe would see on average 20 clients per day between them. That will change under the new normal.

“We have to have condensed hours and I have mandated that we can’t double-book appointments. That means only one per is in per stylists for a specific amount of time. We have to shorten services and we also not doing children at this time, simply because they need to be accompanied by adult and we are only allowing one person at a time,” she said.

After each appointment, the salon has booked extra time to completely sanitize and disinfect the salon

Copper Lane will also not be offering any food or drink at this point, along with usual services like hand massages and facials.

Tomalty said a lot of their services still need to be ironed out and she also took part in a town hall put on by the provincial NDP, where salon owners and stylists could voice their concerns.

“I don’t think we should be open in phase 1. I understand people need to get back to work to help the economy, but I think stylists need to be in phase 2 or 3,” she said.

Tomalty said the government moved too quickly putting salons in early and feels more needed to be done beforehand.

“I think there needs to be a lot of other things done to test the waters before we open up completely. I think that it is unfair without having any specific protocol ready. We have fielded so many phone calls and appointment requests and we can’t confidently book anyone until we have more information,” she said.

She said she understands the excitement to reopen, but they are currently in uncharted waters.

“When we do go back, it won’t be business as usual and there are a lot of things we need to consider for the health and safety of not only our team, but our guests and community as well,” she said.

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