Confusion, stress as salons adjust to vaccination rules – then have to back down

Kristen Clark received sudden news Monday morning that her hair salon business would need proof of vaccination for clients.

The owner of Vibrant Salon & Spa in Fredericton was notified of the change at 9 a.m. by the New Brunswick Cosmetology Association.

“It was very stressful and unfortunately we weren’t given much notice to set this up,” Clark said in an interview.

“We took the time to educate our reception team, call our guests and ask them these questions if they had a vaccination passport, and it was just very rushed and very stressful.”

But later that same day, at 4 p.m., the association backtracked on its instructions, forcing Clark and his staff to call clients back to let them know that proof of vaccination was no longer required.

Kristen Clark, owner of Vibrant Salon & Spa in Fredericton, wants there to be better coordination in the presentation of salon guidelines in the current state of emergency in the province. (Mrinali Anchan / CBC)

The New Brunswick Cosmetology Association was unable to provide CBC News with a flashback interview. Its website suggests the guidelines were based on the group’s understanding of the regulations that came into effect after the province declared a public health emergency last Friday.

“There are no other restrictions in the mandatory prescription with regard to salons or cosmetologists in general,” the association now says on the website. “However, the Department of Public Health will review the document and notify CANB if the change is necessary.”

In an email, Bruce Macfarlane, spokesperson for the Department of Health, confirmed that there are currently no rules for salon customers showing proof of vaccination to receive service. It depends on the individual companies.

“Salons that require proof of vaccination for customers and / or employees remain a business decision for them to make. “

Maureen Stewart, owner of Spa 654 Club, said she too had to pivot her business with the sudden change in restrictions.

“We just found out last night at the 11th hour and we closed at five o’clock. So really, really, the clients that we called yesterday that probably weren’t vaccinated, we’ll have to reschedule them.”

Clark wishes there was better coordination on the matter.

“I think a little more notice might have made things a lot smoother and the government would have put everything in place as well, not just our association.”

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