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.
However, Marnie Browne, owner of Fem Skin Therapy beauty salon in Lower Plenty, was “very upset” that beauticians must wait until November 2 to reopen.
She feels beauty salons are discriminated against despite strict social distancing and sanitising practices. From November 2 they can offer manicures, pedicures, body waxing, eyebrow waxing and tinting, but cannot do lip or chin waxing, facials or skin treatments, due to having to wear masks.
With the distance Melburnians can travel increasing from five kilometres to 25 kilometres, Harry and Letitia Tseng of Reservoir can now visit Harry’s father Frederick, 65, who lives in Box Hill, and his mother Monica, 66, who does not speak much English, in South Yarra.
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.
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.”
Carolyn Webb is a reporter for The Age.