Geneive Kalan-Apperley says she and her team at Taupō hairdressing business Geneive Hair Quarters are "raring to go" under alert level 2.
Geneive has spent the last week flat-out making arrangements for restarting her hairdressing business at Totara Point under the new rules.
She says the hairstylists wear aprons, but they'll be adding face masks and gloves to their repertoire, doing extra sanitising between clients and restructuring bookings to allow for fewer clients and staff in the salon at one time.
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Geneive is expecting life to be busy once the salon re-opens.
"From six weeks of not operating we've lost that whole rotation of our clientele and now it will be 12 weeks of clients that will be coming in at the same time."
Geneive says while she can't fit everyone in immediately, her clients have been amazingly understanding.
"They're like: 'Look we've waited this long, what's another two weeks? We haven't died, we're still alive, we're still well' so it's been great."
She says for many people, six weeks in lockdown without a haircut or colour has made them think more about what they want to do with their hair.
"I've spoken to a lot of my clients where a lot of them are going 'I quite like my length, I'm quite liking my longer look', and also people growing out greys and saying 'maybe I should go a bit lighter and blend out my greys', but we've got some that will be 'oh my God I'm desperate, help me please!'"
Geneive says the six-week break over lockdown is the longest holiday she's had in 13 years and while she was naturally worried, it also gave her the luxury of time to reflect on the business.
She knows fellow business owners who have had to lay off staff and is grateful to have a base of long-term loyal clientele.
"It's great to have people looking forward to seeing us and we know that we are going to be full-on, but we have to do it safely."
Fellow hairstylist Roewyna Loughlin, owner of David's Excellence in Hair Design, is expecting to be open for longer hours while her eight staff try to catch up on the backlog of clients wanting cuts. She has had to remove every second chair and has fewer staff on the floor to allow for social distancing.
Even before it was announced that today would be the move to level 2, Roewyna says clients were making bookings. She anticipates it will take around three weeks to fit everybody in.
"The guidelines are that if we have a 45-minute appointment the maximum we are facing the client will be 15 minutes so you'll do all your haircut and everything from behind as much as possible and then go to the front and do the last bit in front...and we'll have to wear masks and possibly gloves although it's hard to do a haircut and wear gloves."
Both Geneive and Roewyna were able to use the Government wage subsidy to pay their staff during lockdown and were offered rent relief by their landlords.
With six weeks to reflect on a hectic life before Covid-19 restrictions, Bay Bar & Brasserie co-owner Janeen Tipping says mentally the lockdown has been good for her.
"Grant [co-owner] and I moved house four days before lockdown. A good lesson for us has been that life was just too busy."
Making use of the Government wage subsidy scheme, the Bay Bar & Brasserie at Acacia Bay was able to keep on all staff. In the past two weeks at level 3, part-time staff have been sanding, painting, and cleaning and the chefs have taken turns operating the take-out service which featured everything from butter chicken to pizza.
Janeen said regular customers are looking forward to the bar and restaurant re-opening. Social distancing of 1m is required, and Janeen says the tables are already well-spaced. The main difference will be at the bar where to reduce staff interaction, customers will be able to buy a bottle of wine or beer so they can serve themselves.
"Or if people want to sit at a table, we would bring out four beers in a bucket of ice."
She says regular customers and people living in the community have been incredibly supportive.
"It's been overwhelming. We've had emails and texts asking us if we are okay."
In the Taupō town centre, retailer Sue Shaw was preparing to re-open Spacecraft in the Suncourt shopping centre at 10am today.
Like other retailers, Spacecraft has had to bring in measures to operate at alert level 2, incorporating social distancing of 1m between customers, a maximum of four people in the shop at a time, contact tracing and hygiene practices such as hand sanitiser at the entrance.
Sue and co-owner Jo Allen operated their online store during lockdown which has helped the business stay afloat, although they were not able to send out orders until level 3. Sue says Mother's Day was busy with plenty of orders. The pair did a lot behind the scenes during lockdown, updating their website and working on the business.