We know you have questions about stage 2 re-opening in Ontario, so we’ve asked Professor Zahid Butt, an expert in the School of Public Health and Health Systems, to help us understand what’s open, what’s closed and why.
With Stage 2 happening in most of Ontario, but not Toronto or the GTA, is there a concern that people will travel to areas that are re-opening earlier and contribute to a new wave in those areas?
It is likely that people will travel to areas that are re-opening earlier with the possibility of a new wave of coronavirus cases in these areas. These cases are possible because there are a lot of pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic cases of coronavirus in the community. If people do not practice physical distancing, wear masks and follow public health guidelines in public areas such as stores, hair salons or restaurants, this could result in the transmission of the virus to people who are not infected. However, this can be prevented, provided people and establishments that have re-opened follow public health guidelines on prevention of coronavirus, such as physical distancing, wearing masks, frequent handwashing and sanitizing places of business.
Why can you get a haircut in places where Stage 2 Is happening, but not an eyebrow wax?
You can get a haircut in places where Stage 2 is happening because of a lower risk of contracting the virus, provided the hair salon follows public health guidelines such as physical distancing, wearing masks, frequent handwashing and sanitizing instruments and other items in the hair salon.
Eyebrow waxing is not recommended because, during this procedure, the face of the beautician is significantly closer to the face of the client, which could result in the exchange of droplets and transmission of the virus.
For any type of body waxing, there is a chance, albeit low, of acquiring the virus. The waxing procedure bruises the skin to some extent when hair are plucked; therefore, there is a chance that the virus may enter the body through the broken skin either through droplets from an infected person performing the waxing or if the broken skin touches a surface which is contaminated by the virus. However, there are currently no studies documenting the risk of coronavirus transmission through body waxing.
How can those still in Stage 1 be responsible when they travel around the province?
For people who are still in Stage 1 and are thinking of traveling, it is recommended that they follow public health guidelines on the prevention of coronavirus such as physical distancing, wearing masks, frequent handwashing or use of hand sanitizers. This will ensure that they do not pass the virus around if they are asymptomatic carriers of the virus themselves.