B.C. dentists, hairstylists concerned over lack of reopening guidelines
VICTORIA -- Stefan Picard has spent tens of thousands of dollars on safety measures for his dental practice, including plastic curtains to keep his patients safe, and says he’s frustrated there are no approved guidelines for what exactly is needed to reopen next week.
“We’d like to care for our patients a little better at this point,” he said Wednesday from Downtown Dental Victoria. “Instead of just referring our patients, we’d like to see them and be able to proceed.”
The province had ordered medical services like dental, physiotherapy, chiropractic treatments and massage therapy, as well as personal services like hairstyling all to be shut down back in March due to the pandemic.
On May 6, Premier Horgan said medical and personal services could reopen starting May 19. On Wednesday, he emphasized that that date is just the beginning of potential openings.
“I don’t think that people should expect that come next Tuesday everything will be back to the way it was,” Horgan said. “And the hold up is that we want to make sure we get it right.”
It’s not just dentists looking for guidance. Physiotherapists, chiropractors and massage therapists still don’t have specific guidelines approved either.
Meanwhile, hairstylists are waiting on details, leaving some looking to other jurisdictions for guidance.
Matty Conrad owns Victory Barber & Brand. He says some barbers are looking to Alberta for insights into what will be expected.
“What we’re having to do is look to other places and other communities to see what they’ve put in place, and that is a pretty broad spectrum,” said Conrad.
In fact, Conrad says his staff have decided to hold off opening until clearer guidelines are in place in B.C.
“It is completely impossible for us to social distance. So without having those guidelines in place, our staff doesn’t feel confident coming back, being so much the canary in a coal mine.”
The province is set to enter the second phase of its reopening plan on Tuesday, May 19.