covid fee

Some businesses are charging a COVID fee in Canada and here's what people think

Some businesses in Canada are now adding a "COVID fee" to their receipts in a bid to raise funds for masks, gloves, cleaning protocols and more as they reopen.

The surcharge — which ranges from 5 to 10 per cent at some salons — allows businesses to cover the cost of protective gear for employees, and/or income lost from reducing the number of customers a business is allowed to serve, per CTV News.

Hair salons, barbershops, restaurants and dental practices in British Columbia and Alberta are among some of the businesses already charging a COVID fee.

So far, Canadians are divided over the controversial fee.

Provinces may be reopening their economies, but it doesn't mean that Canadians have extra money to spend; with 13 per cent of people out of a job, an extra $2.00 charge could be all the incentive some people need to skip their regular trim.

And some people have pointed out that a COVID-19 fee could serve as an unwelcome reminder of the pandemic, turning customers off of the business.

Especially since there's no exact timeline for how long the temporary fee could be in place.

But many Canadians are arguing that a COVID fee is essential for businesses to survive the pandemic, especially with fewer customers allowed through their doors.

Restaurants in Alberta, for example, will only be able to operate at 50 per cent capacity, which will drastically reduce the amount of revenue flowing into the business.

Salons and restaurants will also have to deal with high demand and price gouging as they reopen.

Some business owners are reporting that a box of gloves that previously cost $8.95 plus tax may now be $20.00 to purchase — more than double what it originally cost.

Some Canadians have pointed out that a COVID fee will allow businesses to purchase masks, plexiglass shields, cleaning supplies and more, leading to a safer environment for the customer.

While others say that they're willing to pay the COVID fee, but only if it contributes solely to a business's new operating expenses — and it doesn't profit the business.

Dan Kelly, the executive director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, says that he thinks the COVID fees will be "very rare" — but some customers will be willing to pay them.

"I think that there are many Canadians that understand that small businesses are struggling just like they are," he told Global News. "It may be viewed as a reasonable trade-off."

Lead photo by

Green Circle Salons


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