It appears that barbershops, salons and other similar businesses in B.C. will stay closed for now.

On Saturday, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, told the media following an update on the COVID-19 situation in British Columbia that businesses like salons and barbershops won’t be part of the initial wave of businesses that will be allowed to reopen.

“We won’t be opening up barbers, stylists and some of the other industries where we know that you have to have some close contact,” she said.

British Columbia is preparing to announce measures that will reopen parts of the economy later as the province-wide state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic nears the two-month mark.

Henry ordered all dine-in restaurants to close on March 20 and a day later she ordered the closure of all personal service establishments, such as spas, hair salons, barbershops, and tattoo parlours, as part of her response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Henry said on Saturday that British Columbia will reopen various sectors of economy only when the time is right and when its clear that a “workable” protection plan can be implemented.

“We will not move forward with opening up different sectors until we are ready,” she said, later adding. “We are being very cautious. We want to make sure that we have appropriate plans for each different sector so that people who are working in those areas, as well as people who will be going and using those services, can be reassured that we have the best things in place possible to protect everybody.”

The provincial health officer said multiple outbreaks at poultry facilities in B.C. serve as a precautionary tale.

“That tells us that we need to make sure that we have the right safety measures in place in each different area of our economy to make sure that we can all be comforted and understand that we are opening up safely and slowly and methodically.”

The province is looking at implementing engineering controls for other businesses such as plexiglass barriers separating cashiers and customers that have already been installed at grocery stores.

“There is a lot of protection that you get from a plexiglass barrier between you and somebody in the grocery store,” she said.

Henry stressed that more details about the province’s reopening plans will be made available next week.

Earlier, Henry reported 26 new cases of the deadly virus in B.C., including two new cases in Island Health. The overall total now stands at 2,171.

CHEK News