In a surprise announcement on Gov. Ron DeSantis' offical Facebook page on Friday afternoon, an Orlando barber broke the news that many of Florida’s barber shops, hair and nail salons can reopen on Monday.
The barber, J Henry, owner of J Henry’s Barber Shop in downtown Orlando, said the businesses could get back to work as long as they have appropriate safety protocols in place.
“Wear gloves, wear masks, book by appointment and continue to keep the community safe,” he said.
It is unknown if those are the only safety protocols required, as the governor did not put out any formal announcement or a formal modification of the existing order detailing phase 1 of the state’s recovery plan that allowed restaurants and retailers to open their doors on May 4.
DeSantis did send out an email Friday afternoon stating that his executive order declaring a state of emergency would be extended another 60 days. But there was no mention of a modification to his recovery plan.
Pinellas County government also used social media to inform the public that local officials were aware of the announcement and would be reaching out to the governor’s office for details.
Pinellas County commissioners voted on May 1 to follow the governor’s order and let the local safer-at-home order expire.
The governor’s order allowed restaurants to reopen their dining rooms with a maximum occupancy of 25% of their building capacity. Restaurants also may serve food and beverages in outdoor seating areas as long as the tables are spaced 6 feet apart. Groups of more than 10 are not allowed inside or outside to maintain social distancing guidelines.
DeSantis’ order also allows retail establishments to reopen their stores; however, the same as restaurants, occupancy is limited to 25% of the stated building occupancy. Unlimited curbside delivery and pickup is still allowed. Social distancing is required with no groups larger than 10 spaced 6 feet apart.
Museums and libraries also can open with a maximum occupancy of 25%. Interactive functions and exhibits, and child play areas must remain closed.
Vacation rentals in homes and condominiums remain prohibited by the governor’s order, which does not apply to hotels, motels or other public lodging.
Bars, pubs and nightclubs remain closed. For that reason, no bar seating will be allowed in restaurants; however, they can open the tabletop areas.
The county put together a list of other business and services that had to remain closed under the governor’s order including:
• Arcade and video/game rooms
• Day/beauty spa services
• Hair salon services (including braiding, hair cutting and styling)
• Nail salon services
• Barber shop services
• Fitness, dance, Pilates, and yoga studios and gyms
• Massage (unless directed by a medical provider)
• Painting, craft, or art studios
• Tattoo and piercing services
• Pool halls
• Concert and music halls
• Locations with amusement rides and/or water parks
• Movie and other theaters (including adult entertainment theaters)
Hair salon and nail salons, as well as barber shops were in a group of personal services that the governor said must remain closed in his initial phase one order. He had said he was not lifting restrictions on personal services that involved face-to-face contact.
Suzette Porter is TBN’s Pinellas County editor. She can be reached at email@example.com.