LONDON, ONT. -- Many London hair salons and barbershops feel they are being treated unfairly when it comes to the provincial shutdown.

Carla McGilton, the general manager at Salon Entrenous on Richmond Street, says they’ve only been able to open for six weeks so far this year.

“It’s frustrating and disappointing,” she says. “We have hundreds of clients we haven’t seen in months and we have always followed the strict guidelines.”

Not far away, Thelma Bento, the owner of TAZ Hair Co. on Piccadilly Street, says her income is way down, “This definitely a financial strain...our paycheques have been cut down to 15 or 20 per cent and it’s tough.”

Ryan Ford, who owns J.S. Ryan and Co. on Ridout Street, says their industry truly does the best at keeping track of the people they do business with.

“What I’d like to see the government do is open our industry up”, says Ford. “We have proper PPE in place and the best COVID contact tracing because we are by appointment only and we know the date, names and time our clients have come in.”

For the time being the government is planning to let them reopen during the second phase of the plan, likely in July, and many are hoping it will be the last shutdown.

McGilton says it’s everyone’s responsibility, “We all need to get vaccinated and follow the protocols so businesses can get back on their feet.”