Businesses respond to new rules

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While the continuing closure of the border keeps cutting off the flow of Canadian customers, Point Roberts businesses started reopening as the county moved to Phase 2 in the Governor’s Safe Start plan.

“It’s been great to be back,” said hair stylist Robin Nault. “Something as simple as a haircut can really make people feel good.” Nault said she is booking longer appointments so clients don’t overlap and she has time to disinfect her work space thoroughly. She wears a mask and requires clients to do so as well.

“I think in Point Roberts people have been very careful about following protocols,” she said. Nault is taking appointments at 360/945-1301.

Stephen’s Hair Design is also taking appointments again at 360/945-5152 and like Nault, Stephen Hedlund said he’s seeing fewer clients a day. “It’s my responsibility to make sure people are safe while they’re here so it’s one on one and I have a sign saying STOP at the door. People need to call to first.”

Hedlund said he’s happy to be open again but a closed border means many of his regular clients can’t come in. “I miss my clients and they came from all over.”

Non-essential retail was able to open after the June 5 approval of phase 2, as well as limited capacity restaurant seating.

“I hadn’t been open in so long part of me wondered if I wanted to do it anymore but in one day I knew. I missed it so much,” said Pamala Sheppard at Auntie Pam’s Country Store.

Auntie Pam’s is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with the hour from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. reserved for senior and at-risk shoppers. They have installed a plexiglass shield at the register and distancing stickers on the floor. “We have the rules of the road posted by the door.”

Business has been slow, Sheppard said, but those who do come in are buying more. “We have all sorts of things to keep you safe and healthy,” Sheppard said, including her own hand sanitizer, masks, disinfectant sprays and all sorts of soaps.

Under phase 2 rules, restaurants have been able to welcome dine-in customers and Kiniski’s Reef and Breakwaters Bar and Grill have reopened their doors on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 50 percent capacity. “There’s just not enough business for me to be open more hours,” said Reef owner Nick Kiniski.

At Saltwater Cafe, which has stayed open for takeout, owner Tamra Hansen said they were now offering patio seating and had added dinner service on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a special senior dinner available. “I hope to add a pergola with heaters when I can,” she said. The restaurant is also open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

“I’m hanging in there, but we need things to change,” she said.

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