Hairdressers, tattoo parlours may be next to close

The Kutting Room hair salon and barber shop at 349 Belmont Street in Cornwall, Ont. on Thursday, March 19, 2020. Barber Cathy Seyeau says they have already seen bookings dwindle during the coronavirus pandemic. She's not surprised the government may mandate their close-contact profession to temporarily close. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Personal service businesses, such as hairdressers and tattoo parlors, may be next on the list of mandated closures to stem the spread of coronavirus in Ontario.

Local Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, says it will be the Ontario government that makes the final decision but, after consulting with them, he expects it soon.

“By virtue of the nature of what they’re doing, there is close contact. I think that we will be going towards closing them and this is going to happen shortly as soon as we have direction from the ministry,” Roumeliotis said in a conference call Wednesday.

Cathy Seyeau is a barber at The Kutting Room at 349 Belmont Street in Cornwall. She’s one of five staff at the east end hair salon and barber shop.

Seyeau says they are a small establishment “but it’s (COVID-19) definitely affecting the business, how many people are coming through the door. We are a little concerned because we do work one-on-one with people. If they cough, we’re right there. But, at the same time, we have to stay open because we have bills to pay here. Our rent doesn’t get paid if we’re not working,” she said.

“We’re thinking about closing earlier instead of opening our full-time hours. But we’re still open in that same sense,” Seyeau said.

She’s not surprised the government is looking at their profession. “We figured it’s just a matter of time, to be honest.”

Seyeau agrees it’s a tough time for everyone but “everybody’s got to kind of stick together. If we don’t all take part then how is it going to make any difference?”

The provincial state of emergency has already meant the closure of all indoor recreation, all libraries, all private schools, all licenced child care centers, all bars and restaurants (except their take-out and delivery options), all theaters (including live performances) and all concert venues.

Crowds of 50 or more people are not allowed.

Essential services, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, remain open.