Tears of joy in the rush to reopen, but not everyone is happy
Leonie Van Rooyen shed a tear when Premier Daniel Andrews announced hairdressers could reopen on Monday as part of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
"It’s amazing, I’m emotional," said the owner of Zuri Boutique Hair and Beauty in St Kilda. But she soon switched to "panic mode", frantically getting the salon ready.
Leonie Van Rooyen can’t wait to reopen her St Kilda hairdressing salon on Monday.Credit:Simon Schluter
"I’ve had about 30 messages saying, 'Can I come in this week?' " said Mrs Van Rooyen, whose husband owns four gyms that have been closed since March and who has relied on JobKeeper payments and superannuation withdrawals.
"I’m just itching to see all my clients. You realise how close they are, we’re like a family."
Frank Ciccone, owner of Hair By Ciccone in Macleod in Melbourne’s north-east, has more than 35 customers booked for Monday and is sifting through 300 phone messages.
He expects to be heavily booked until December 31, but is not fazed.
"It’s amazing. The pressure is off us," he said.
Harry and Letitia Tseng and their children will soon see Harry’s father Frederick in person, rather than via video calls.Credit:Chris Hopkins
And the Tsengs' two children, Lok, five, and Edith, two, can once again watch MasterChef with their "Mama" Monica, who cooks for them.
Letitia said Edith had started showing signs of being wary of other people, adding: "I’d hate for her to be that way with her grandparents."
Tennis-mad Fitzroy North children Florian and Aurelie Kostov, aged 13 and 10, have spent months having to whack balls against a wall. They are thrilled that from Monday they can play on a court, with tennis courts, golf courses and skateboard parks reopening.
"I’m very excited," said Florian, who is also happy he can now see friends who live more than five kilometres away.
Aurelie Kostov and brother Florian will be hitting the courts at Princes Hill tennis club.Credit:Wayne Taylor
Kew plastering business owner Brad Harrison is disappointed the state government did not lift restrictions on the number of workers – six – allowed on small-scale construction sites.
And he said the restrictions still ruled out clients who want non-essential work indoors.
"I’ve still got people who’ve texted me saying, 'Can you come and replace the ceiling from 10 weeks ago,' and I’ve said, 'Look, we can’t come into your home.' "
Single mother Ashlee Kelly, owner of Listen To Your Body fitness studio in Brunswick, was pleased at the increase in the maximum class size from two clients to 10 from November 2.
But she says not being able to open indoors is "not sustainable" due to weather fluctuations, equipment being damaged and working in the dark being unsafe for female trainers.
"The other morning we turned up in the park and there’d been a stabbing overnight," she said.
She said people were getting sick of outdoor classes, as with online sessions.
"We need to open indoors, not just for ourselves and business but for the mental health of our members."
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