DeSantis releases guidance for reopening of barber shops and cosmetology salons

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis used his Twitter account to allow an Orlando barber to break the news that barber shops, hair and nail salons can reopen on Monday, May 11.

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued information Saturday afternoon that the state’s barber shops, hair and nail salons have been waiting for since Friday afternoon.

In a surprise announcement on the governor’s Twitter and Facebook accounts May 8, an Orlando barber broke the news that the businesses could reopen on Monday, May 11.

J Henry, owner of J Henry’s Barber Shop, said the businesses could get back to work as long as they have appropriate safety protocols in place.

However, no guidance was provided about those safety protocols.

On Saturday, the governor released a modified executive order that included lifting of restrictions in Palm Beach County. The new order does not apply to Broward or Miami-Dade counties. It also included information about safety protocols for barbershops, cosmetology salons and cosmetology specialty salons.

The list of mandatory restrictions for those businesses, effective on May 11, includes:

• All customers will be by appointment only.

• Allow at least 15 minutes between the conclusion of an appointment and the beginning of the next appointment for proper disinfecting practices.

• No group appointments are permitted.

• Masks must be worn by all employees while performing personal services.

In addition, barbershops, cosmetology salons and cosmetology specialty salons are encouraged to adhere to the following guidance:

• Thoroughly clean and disinfect prior to reopening. Make sure to disinfect all surfaces, tools and linens, even if they were cleaned before the business originally closed. The cleaning should be done between each day of operation.

• Consider providing unworn masks to clients for use during their appointment.

• Remove all unnecessary, frequently touched items like magazines, newspapers, service menus and any other unnecessary paper products and decor from customer service areas.

Additional guidance

The governor also provided the answers to frequently asked questions. The first one dealt with which professions are allowed to reopen and provide services.

The answer was all holders of state-issued barber or cosmetology licenses that provide services at establishments that use appropriate social distancing and precautionary measures. The professions include barbers, cosmetologists, nail specialists, facial specialists, hair braiders, hair wrappers and body wrappers.

The governor recommended that barber shops and salons take action to limit gatherings in waiting areas to promote social distancing. If possible, they are encouraged to have customers wait in their vehicles until they receive a call that everything is ready for their appointment.

Group appointments were defined as anything beyond an individual appointment so the number of service stations in use can maintain appropriate social distancing.

As to hours of operation, the governor set no limits beyond what might be enforced by a local government.

Safety and sanitation

Masks must be worn by an employee while providing personal services until further notice; however, no guidance was given as to a particular type of masks. Customers do not have to wear masks; however, barber shops and salons are encouraged to provide them for customers.

“As a private business, barbershops and salons may adopt their own policies requiring the use of a mask by patrons obtaining services,” according to the guidance.

Gloves are not required.

“Barbershops and salons also should take all reasonable steps to ensure that the shop and individual service areas are maintained and operated in a safe and sanitary manner, including particular attention and adherence to existing Florida sanitation regulations,” according to the guidance.

Enforcement

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation maintains routine inspection practices at licensed barbershops and salons, which will continue during the effect of the governor’s order. The department will incorporate the restrictions of this order in compliance inspection activities.

What remains 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 following is the prior list of businesses that must remain closed put together by Pinellas County staff with barbers, hair salons and nail salons removed.

• Arcade and video/game rooms

• Day/beauty spa 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

• Bowling

• Zoos

• Pool halls

• Concert and music halls

• Locations with amusement rides and/or water parks

• Movie and other theaters (including adult entertainment theaters)

For more information, call the sheriff’s tip line at 727-582-TIPS (8477) or email Covidtips-questions@pcsonet.com, or call the county’s Citizen Information Center at 727- 464-4333, Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Suzette Porter is TBN’s Pinellas County editor. She can be reached at sporter@tbnweekly.com.