Close contact businesses react to Gov. McMaster’s reopen announcement

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– As Monday draws closer, there may be questions about South Carolina Governor McMaster’s announcement on reopening close contact services.

McMaster announced that he is allowing close-contact businesses, like barbershops, fitness centers, and salons, to reopen on May 18.

These businesses would have to operate with a limited capacity, sanitize equipment, and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

For salon owners like Mark Goodman, the last two months without much business have been surreal.

“I’m not used to sitting around doing nothing, I’m used to working a busy schedule,” said Goodman, who is the owner of The Hair Designers in Hilton Head.

In less than a week, some hairdressers will be picking up the scissors again and giving someone a trim or a buzz, but before businesses can reopen, they must follow several guidelines.

“They clean all the equipment, everyone washes their hands, customers as well as they go in. The workers there, the people providing those services will wear masks or face shields and wash their hands and their equipment,” said Gov. McMaster.

Goodman says these guidelines are not as strict as those other states have put forward, saying some don’t allow the use of blow dryers or certain procedures with shampoo.

“Most of the guidelines in here are a lot of things that we in this industry do already,” Goodman said.

Goodman says he has made his own guidelines, like checking temperatures when guests come in, and asking them questions when they schedule an appointment. He also said guests have to wait in their cars, and then get notified via email when they are ready to be taken care of.

He says his team is prepared for the wave of customers in need of a haircut.

“Luckily in my salon, the chairs are not very close to each other, they are far apart, so I will be able to have more staff than some salons,” Goodman said.

Goodman says his salon has not set a reopening date, but he feels most salons statewide are ready to open their doors again.

“We’re going to have to try and make sure customers understand and see us taking care of the salons so that they stay safe,” Goodman said.

Some of the other businesses able to reopen next Monday include swimming pools, gyms, massage parlors, waxing salons, threading salons, body-art facilities, tanning salons, and tattoo parlors.

In South Carolina, there have been 7,792 cases of coronavirus in South Carolina, with 346 deaths statewide.

For a list of guidelines and facilities click here

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