Georgia will become one of the first states Friday to reopen a variety of businesses on the heels of a statewide shutdown just weeks ago.
Gov. Brian Kemp announced a gradual reopening of the economy Monday. Businesses including salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, gyms, bowling alleys and nail salons will be able to welcome customers Friday. A number of other businesses, such as restaurants and movie theaters, will also soon be able to open their doors.
Since the announcement, the governor has been in position to defend his decision against Sen. Lindsey Graham and others calling into question what some consider a hasty effort to rekindle the economy.
In an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday, Kemp described the reopening of the state’s economy as “measured steps” to get out of the shelter in place, adding, “this is not a giant leap forward.”
One major tenet of his approach to the reopening has been a plan to require businesses to follow strategic steps for sanitation and distancing.
For those wondering what standards the businesses will have to follow, we have gathered some general guidelines being considered and the rules that barbershops and salons will follow once opened:
Though a specific list of guidelines was not submitted as of Wednesday, Kemp spoke to some of the measures that would be taken, such as screening workers for fever and respiratory illness, enhancing workplace sanitation, wearing masks and gloves if appropriate, separating workspaces by 6 feet, teleworking if possible, and implementing staggered shifts.
The Georgia Board of Cosmetology and Barbers, which oversees more than 95,000 licensed professionals, issued its guidelines for businesses Tuesday evening. Its guidelines offer a glimpse of what some of the general guidelines may be for other types of businesses as the economy returns closer to normal in coming weeks:
Temperature checks: Salons should consider use of a touchless infrared thermometer to check the temperature of employees each day and of each client who enters the salon/shop.
Screening questions: Ask each client entering the shop the following questions: Have you had a cough? Have you had a fever? Have you been around anyone exhibiting these symptoms within the last 14 days? Are you living with anyone who is sick or quarantined?
Limit people in shops/salons: Salons/shops should consider seeing clients by appointment only. Salons/shops should consider telephonic or online scheduling. Limit the number of people in the waiting area of the salon/shop.
Maintain social distancing: Spacing between people in the salon should be at least 6 feet at all times. Salons/shops should consider additional spacing between booths, divider shields, and/or alternate work schedules.
Use of Personal Protective Equipment and best practices: Salon/shop employees will be required to wear masks at all times. Salons may want to consider providing masks to clients.
Disinfection: All salons/shops should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to reopening. Disinfect all surfaces, tools and linens, even if they were cleaned before the salon/shop was closed. Salons/shops should maintain regular disinfection of all tools, shampoo bowls, pedicure bowls, workstations, treatment rooms and restrooms. Additionally, salons/shops should remove all unnecessary items (magazines, newspapers, service menus and any other unnecessary paper products/decor).
Administration: Employees who are sick will be expected to stay home.
“Under our sanitation laws and rules, we are charged with the responsibility of protecting consumers from the spread of contagious diseases every day in our salons,” said Kay Kendrick, chair of the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers. “By adding the safety guidelines that have been developed by the board and some of our industry leaders in the cosmetology and barber profession, we feel that our professionals will be able to do an even better job of protecting themselves and their clients.”
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