Salons and barbershops officially reopen in Florida, with extra safety guidelines

It's the day many salons and clients have been waiting for -- hair salons, barbershops and nail salons can finally reopen their doors Monday, but they have to play by a few new rules set by the governor.

Governor Ron DeSantis issued the following guidelines for those opening on Monday:

- All customers will be by appointment only, no walk-ins will be allowed

- Customers with appointments must show up alone

- 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

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 you originally closed. This type of cleaning should continue 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 décor from customer service areas.

READ: Frequently asked questions and answers from the governor's office

Salon owners have told FOX 13  they've tried to think of every way to keep their customers feeling safe.

"They’re going to notice the protective barriers we’ve installed. That’s to prevent germs from flying around. It’ll make it more intimate between the stylist and he client," said Renee Patterson, owner of Vintage 88 Salon and Spa in Pinellas Park. "We’ve also added a nail guard barrier between the nail technician and her client so she’s never actually face to face because there will be a glass barrier in between them. We’ve added hand sanitizers to all the stations, gloves, masks.”

She said her salon is booked for about a month, so far.

"We’ve never experienced anything like that, but it’s a good thing. I’m sure there’ll be a lot of color corrections coming in but we’re ready for it," she said with a laugh. “At this time we can only have 10 people at a time so we’re just figuring out now how to rotate and make it go smoothly so that there’s not more than 10 people. And at this time, no one can wait in the waiting room. They have to wait in their cars so that we’re not past the 10-people mark, so we’re just trying to see how this soft opening this week goes and then try to make things better and better.” 

Though it isn't required, health experts advise that clients should wear a mask during their appointments, given the close proximity and extended amount of time they’ll be spending with their stylist. They also say the 6-foot rule should be applied to everyone else in the salon as well.

Wait times at Great Clips locations around the Bay Area, as of midday Monday.

At Ybor City Barbering Company, customers are required to wear masks. Those who don't have them are able to buy them from the business.

"I thought [state leaders] were going to be a little bit stricter since they withheld for so long for us coming back," said Lisa Harmon, the barbershop's owner, who added she was ready to get back to work.  "I haven't gotten much money, or, should I say, any money, as far as assistance. So it's been nice to just be able to come back in and make money again."

Customers are Harmon's business Monday were excited to have the chance to get a clean cut, but some were still aware of the risks involved.

"It's been hell. I'm not going to lie," said Greg Wolf, as a barber finished up his haircut. "Obviously I like to keep my hair high and tight and not having the ability to have a haircut for the last two months, it's been crazy, to be honest with you. You don't realize how much of a necessity just a simple haircut is until you can't have it for a couple months."

"I was excited. I was interested in the protocol that they'd have to follow," said Curtis Lynch, who said he gave himself a 'quarantine haircut' during the last several weeks, adding he has concerns about businesses not following all the rules.  "I don't want people to abuse the privilege of reopening and then us having to close everything back down."

Many salon owners say their phones have been ringing off the hook for appointments with some clients coming by with appreciation gifts. 

Haircut wait times at Bay Area Great Clips locations were running as long as two to three hours midday Monday, according to the company's online tracker tool.

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINKFlorida's COVID-19 website

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