CALGARY – While most of Alberta is in the first phase of the provincial economic reopening plan, some Calgary facilities will have to keep their doors closed for a while.
Both Calgary and Brooks have the lion’s share of positive cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, at 75 percent of the province as a whole.
Salons and barbershops in Calgary are on the list of businesses to be banned from resuming operations until May 25th.
“We got calls straight away. Like literally minutes later, ”said Tony Allocca, owner of the Curious Hair Boutique, describing the initial anticipation of customers who had hoped to book appointments for May 14th.
“It’s very frustrating for everyone everywhere because everyone wants to go back to some kind of normalcy.”
Jeff Davison, Calgary councilor for Ward 6, said he was disappointed with the local businesses that were hoping to reopen with the rest of the province but couldn’t.
“Calgary is a hot bed (for COVID-19), but at the same time I really feel that communication could have been better here. I think a lot of these companies were dependent on them to open. “
Chinook Mall reopened
However, some retail stores were able to open a store.
The CF Chinook Center had a line-up of around 100 people before the mall reopened on Thursday morning.
According to management, around 50 of the mall’s 220 stores were back up and running today.
“It’s kind of those little steps as we make sure everyone in Calgary and beyond is safe,” said Paino O’Neill, general manager of Chinook.
The mall added more security, disinfection stations, and markings on the floor to ensure a physical distance of two meters.
“Each (store) will have a limited amount of capacity in their stores, so there will be queues outside,” said O’Neill.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience. It will be a slightly different picture around the mall for a while. “
Smaller retailers like The Camera Store in the Beltline neighborhood have seen a steady stream of business returns.
“It is a good thing to be able to reinstate some employees and to get a semblance of normalcy,” said manager Julian Ferreira.
City officials like Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Calgary Emergency Management Agency chief Tom Sampson say physical distancing remains essential and suggest wearing a mask when entering a Calgary store.