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Phase Three businesses preparing to reopen amid the 'new normal'
REGINA -- With phase three of the Reopen Saskatchewan plan scheduled to begin in early June, businesses like gyms and restaurants are beginning preparations to reopen their doors.
Villains Strength and Conditioning opened its doors to a new facility just a week before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Saskatchewan, forcing them to close.
"Everything just changed so quickly and so drastically, it was just dealing with so many emotions right off the bat," Owner Brendon Kozack said.
In the time since, the gym has adapted, offering online group classes and posting videos to social media. Recently, Villains has also been offering classes in the park with a maximum of ten participants.
"We just need to make sure that, A, everyone has an option, and, B, how do we slowly walk people back into this to mitigate any risk and just help them be comfortable moving back into the facility," Kozack said.
When gyms are allowed to reopen on June 8 — which was a target date announced by the provincial government on Thursday — they will be required to limit the number of clients in the facility at one time to ensure there’s sufficient space for physical distancing.
They will also have to provide visible queues such as tape or cones every two meters and strict cleaning guidelines will also have to be followed, among other guidelines.
Kozack says Villains is prepared with a phased in reopening similar to what the province has been doing. Maintaining physical distance during workouts will be a focus.
"When they come in, they’re going to have their own station to work out in, all the equipment is going to be in there waiting for them and everyone has their own personal disinfectant and all that type of stuff that they can put on their equipment once their done," he said.
In addition to gyms, restaurants and bars, more personal services will be able to reopen during phase three.
Stephanie Love has started preparing The QC Nail Bar for the potential reopen next month.
"I’m super excited since I’ve been closed since Mar. 17 when we were ordered to close by the government," Love said.
Love says she already wore a mask and gloves when working with clients, so she isn’t concerned about purchasing and using personal protective equipment.
She does expect added costs around cleaning supplies.
"I think I’m going to be spending more money on actual liquids and wipes and things like that, and things you don’t think of like wiping the chair or the door handles or hand soap in the bathrooms," Love said.
Owners in phase three know they won’t be returning to business as usual on June 8, but they are ready for what a new normal might look like.
"Just happy to get back in here," Kozack said. "Even though it was a very short period of time, I miss seeing this place having people in it."