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Salons get ready for a return to business Friday

Salon Owner: “(Abbott) wasn’t even done his press conference yet" before clients began calling

San Antonio – It didn’t take any time for the news to spread on Monday that Governor Greg Abbott would allow barbershops and salons to reopen May. 8.

“He wasn’t even done his press conference yet,” said Dana Robinson, co-owner of Pure Posh Salon.

“He was not even done,” her partner, Leti Latham agreed. “Our cell phones, the salon phone -- ‘Can I get in Friday? Can I get in on Friday? Can I be your first person on Friday?’ That’s exactly what everybody was saying.”

These businesses have been closed for their services in San Antonio and Bexar County since the first set of “Stay Home, Work Safe” orders went into effect on March 24. Abbott followed with similar, statewide orders the following week.

Under this step in Abbott’s plans to reopen Texas, cosmetology, hair and nail salons -- along with barbershops -- will be able to operate again, but they must ensure there’s at least six feet between work stations. Staff at Pure Posh and VIP Nails & Spa locations on TPC Parkway said they plan to seat customers every other seat in order to keep that distance.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation also posted checklists for businesses and customers on its website Wednesday.

READ MORE ON WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN YOU VISIT A SALON OR BARBERSHOP

Even before they had seen the checklists, Robinson and Latham were planning to institute safety measures based on what they had seen elsewhere. The duo say their stylists will change aprons with each customer, they’ve thrown out their magazines and they will require both employees and customers to wear masks.

“So if they don’t have a mask, we’ll have some for them to purchase to be able to come in the building,” Robinson said.

The state guidelines encourage the use of masks and face coverings but do not appear to mandate them. While local orders still have a mask mandate, the city and county are barred from enforcing any penalties for violations.

At VIP Nails & Spa, the staff will be required to wear masks, and the business has also constructed plastic shields at the manicure stations.

Despite all the precautions, there will always be an element of risk as long as the pandemic lasts.

“Somehow, I am nervous. You know, I’m not going to lie,” said manicurist Mingh Van. “But we still need to open the business because, you know, it’s been a couple of months already. And, you know, I’m not gonna claim, you know, for unemployment benefit.”

The Economic Transition Team assembled by Mayor Ron Nirenberg and County Judge Nelson Wolff presented its report Wednesday on how to best reopen local businesses. Its recommendations included a voluntary pledge for businesses to sign, vowing to take certain steps such as using face coverings and conducting temperature checks.

The team’s report also provides its own checklists on how to safely conduct mass gatherings and reopen and operate businesses across various industries, including salons.


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