Hairdressers, other personal-care services to reopen in June — but not in greater Montreal area

Hairdressers and other personal care providers will be allowed to open June 1 outside of the metropolitan Montreal and Joliette regions, while dentists, psychologists and health-care providers can reopen across the province on the same date. 

Quebec health, labour ministers announce timeline for reopening some businesses

Barbershops outside the Montreal and Joliette areas will be able to open as of June 1. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Starting June 1, private health-care services, such as dentists and physiotherapists, will be allowed to reopen across the province.

Businesses that provide personal-care services, like hairdressers, will be allowed to open on the same date — but not in the greater Montreal and Joliette areas, where there are still significant COVID-19 outbreaks.

Health Minister Danielle McCann said the province's public health directorate has worked closely with the workplace health and safety board (CNESST) and with the various professions to create virtual guides specific to each service.

"This has to be done while ensuring everyone's protection — the protection of workers and clients as well," McCann said. "So there will be rigorous prevention measures set up."

She urged people with compromised immune systems and those over the age of 70 to consider receiving services in their homes, if possible.

These services will be permitted to reopen across all of Quebec, starting June 1:

  • Dental clinics.
  • Physiotherapy, osteopathy, occupational therapy, chiropractic practice, massage therapy, psychology, optometry, acupuncture, naturopathy, homeopathy, life and career coaching, social work, family therapy, sexology, nutrition counselling, speech therapy, audiology, podiatry and other forms of alternative medical practice.
  • Pet grooming.

Personal care services will also be permitted to reopen in most of Quebec, with the exception of the 82 municipalities in the metropolitan Montreal region and the 10 municipalities in the regional municipal county of Joliette.

Those services include:

  • Hairdressers, barbers, esthetic services, manicure and pedicure, hair removal, skin care, tattoo and piercing services.

The exception is services without separate outdoor entrances that are located in shopping malls, which are still not permitted to reopen.

What are the rules?

Physical-distancing measures are not possible for many of these services. However, Labour Minister Jean Boulet said Wednesday, other measures may be taken to protect both the client and the service provider from the risk of coronavirus infection — for example, the wearing of masks and goggles.

Still, wearing masks will not be mandatory — even for trips to the dentist or hairdresser.

Quebec's public health strategic adviser, Dr. Richard Massé, said rather than take a punitive approach, Quebec hopes to make the wearing of masks or other face-coverings the norm.

Among other rules, the number of people in waiting rooms will be limited, with waiting areas marked out on the floor and outside on the sidewalk. Surfaces must be disinfected regularly, and physical barriers must be installed between work stations that are located within two metres of one another.

Massé said visits to these personal-care services will certainly be different before the pandemic, but they can be carried out safely if both the service providers and clients respect the rules.

"If it's done properly, there is a very good level of protection," Massé said.

As for businesses that are still not allowed to operate, Boulet said plans are now in development, and details will be announced as they become available. The goal is to open businesses and services gradually and carefully, with clear directives in place.

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