CLEARWATER, Fla. - With hair and nail salons, along with barbershops, opening up on Monday, businesses have been hard at work to make sure they're prepared. It's been a long two months for business owners after they were forced to close down their salons at the end of March.
"We had to officially lay-off our staff, and we didn't know when we were going to reopen," said Lori Fudens, the owner of Sharmaine's Salon and Spa.
It was a sigh of relief for many salon owners, including Fudens, when Governor Desantis announced on Friday that they would finally be able to welcome their clients back.
"It was so exciting," said Fudens. "We immediately went out to all our social channels to let our guests know we would be opening."
However, it's not exactly business as usual. If salons and barbershops want to keep their doors open, they're going to need to follow the guidelines Desantis laid out on Saturday. Fudens told Fox 13 they started preparing long before the guidelines were released.
"We re-sanded all the arm-rails on the chairs, we repainted all the handrails where anyone would be touching, we ordered all our supplies, we did the barbicide course, which is the official disinfectant course," said Fudens.
With safety and cleanliness a top priority in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, employees will be required to wear a mask while interacting with clients. They will also be required to allow for 15 minutes between each guest to properly sanitize their station.
"Our cleaning regimen will be mirrors, chairs, the entire area of course," Fudens explained. "We're going to have a sanitized sign at every shampoo bowl so that when you walk to your shampoo bowl to have your hair washed, you're going to know that that's already been cleaned."
Guests will also be required to make an appointment ahead of time and come alone.
At Sharmaine's Salon, the waiting area has been moved outside in an attempt to limit the number of guests inside the salon.
"Our busy hairdressers are going to stagger their days. So, for example, if I'm working on the floor one day with my guests and my assistant, I won't work the day that the other busy hairdresser will work at her chair," explained Fudens.
There's a lot of rules, but Fudens said that she's more than happy to comply as long as that means she can get back to work.
"We've learned a lot from this, and I think that at the end of the day, when the guests come back, after they're here for a little bit, I think it will reduce a little of the uncomfortableness that we might all feel starting off."
Currently, Miami-Dade and Broward County are the only two counties waiting to be included in the governor's phase one plan.