South Carolina is now just days away from reopening close contact businesses like barbershops, hair salons, gyms and others, ending almost a month of restrictions on such establishments.
Barbershops and hair salons were closed in South Carolina in March as Gov. Henry McMaster close contact businesses to limit the spread of the disease. However, on May 10, McMaster lifted this order, reopening such businesses under strict new social distancing and sanitizing guidelines.
“With our increased capacity for testing the people of our state, it is time to responsibly and gradually get these small businesses back up and running,” he said.
While these businesses will reopen, some have expressed concern about opening these businesses up to soon. Many in Georgetown County have mixed reactions to the reopening services. Some are happy that these services will be available once more while others worry about the close person-to-person indoor activity being a high risk for spreading the virus.
One Georgetown barber expresses his concern.
Randy Ford, owner of Randy’s barbershop for over 30 years, said that their job requires they be in the customers face and is worried how are they are supposed to be six feet apart when they have to be in close contact of their customers.
“To me, it doesn’t’ make a lot of sense,” Ford said.
He currently is working on finding a balance between the two by limiting their hours and customers in a seat. He also expressed how his staff might have to think about changing the speed of their service to patrons.
“We are going to protect the customers and ourselves.”
For Sandy Lawrence, however, she said its not a big change for them.
Owner of Beautiful Salon and Spa in Pawleys Island, Lawrence said they will reopen on Monday since their salon space is large enough for social distancing.
“We’re pretty good to go. We’ve stretched out our schedule so it’s a much longer day for us...a lot of the other regulations we’re used to doing on a regular basis,” Lawrence said.
She said the only thing that might take some getting used to is wearing masks all day long.
“We’ve haven’t worked in eight weeks so to still pay all the bills without the money coming in has been difficult...We’re all hurt by it economically,” she said.
Lawrence shared how since the announcement was made, their business has been receiving numerous calls for appointments, which has them booked for weeks in advance.
Whether businesses will reopen or not is up to the individual shop owner, even so, social distancing is expected to be enforced.