Barber shops, hair salons, nail spas, massage therapy services, and similar businesses can re-open in 89 of Tennessee’s 95 counties on Wednesday, May 6.
The potential re-openings in the 89 counties, which include Anderson and Roane, was announced by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee this week. It’s part of the phased re-opening of the economy. Much of Tennessee has been shut down for about a month or more as the state tries to reduce the spread of COVID-19, a contagious respiratory illness that can be deadly.
There are certain guidelines that businesses are expected to follow as they re-open. The guidelines include limiting the number of customers in a business to 50 percent of its capacity, trying to keep people at least six feet apart as much as possible, wearing cloth face coverings, and requiring appointments for services.
The businesses allowed to re-open on Wednesday are called “close contact” businesses. Their re-opening follows the re-opening of restaurants on Monday, April 27; the re-opening of retail stores on Wednesday, April 29; and the re-opening of gymnasiums and exercise facilities on Friday, May 1.
Lee announced last week that he would not extend the statewide “stay at home” order, which kept non-essential businesses closed, past Thursday, April 30.
Six Tennessee counties—Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Shelby, and Sullivan—will create their own re-opening plans in consultation with their locally run health departments.
“As we continue a measured reopening of the economy, it’s critical we provide evidence-based guidance to businesses so they can keep their employees and customers safe,” Lee said in a press release. “The very nature of close contact businesses calls for strong solutions, and we’re inspired by the willingness of these small business owners to take the Tennessee Pledge. These guidelines will allow thousands of businesses to reopen, put their employees back to work, and serve customers in a thoughtful and safe manner.”
The re-openings of barber shops, hair salons, nail spas, massage therapy services, and similar services could affect more than 38,000 workers, according to the Tennessee Economic Recovery Group.
In addition to the recommendations included within the Tennessee Pledge, the state recommends strict adherence to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state’s guidance applies to personal services including barber shops, hair salons, waxing salons, nail spas, massage therapy services, and substantially similar businesses that require prolonged close contact with customers.
The full guidelines are posted online at TNPledge.com, and they include:
Business Process Adaptations
- Limit the number of customers to 50 percent of fire code capacity, and practice strict social distancing between customers.
- Services will be offered by appointment only; no walk-ins.
- Make appropriate physical modifications to accommodate social distancing. Work stations should be at least six feet apart, with additional measures taken as necessary to ensure that all people stay six feet apart at all times except for the staff providing a service to their client. Physical barriers to be used where necessary.
- Prohibit use of waiting areas (e.g., could adopt such practices as notifying customers by call or text message) or serenity lounges. Limit use of other common areas by multiple people at one time (e.g., elevators, breakrooms, etc.)
- Ensure thorough work station and equipment disinfection after each customer (i.e. sanitize all equipment, instruments, capes, smocks, linens, chairs, and work area). Alternatively, use single-use or disposable items.
- Implement enhanced sanitization of commonly touched surfaces and equipment (i.e., at least every two hours and when visibly soiled), using CDC recommended sanitizers and disinfecting protocols.
- Discard any single-use tools (e.g., files, buffers, neck strips) immediately after use.
- Daily deep cleaning and sanitization to be completed for high-touch areas (tanning beds, massage tables, salon chairs, etc.).
- Use appropriate temperatures for washers and dryers to ensure thorough sanitization of towels, linens, etc.
- Do not allow non-customer companions to accompany customer during a service.
- Do not allow group or communal settings for close contact personal services (e.g., couples’ massages, salt rooms, saunas, pools).
- Services that require removing face coverings (e.g., beard shaving/trimming, facials, etc.) are not permitted in this first phase of economic re-opening
- Do not offer any self-serve food or beverages. Temporarily close water fountains. Encourage users to provide their own water.
- Prohibit congregating in break rooms and at check-in counters.
- Customers should wear a cloth face covering at all times while in the premises (not N95 or medical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers) and as recommended by the CDC and executive order of the governor. Use other personal protection items as recommended by the CDC.
- For massage, prone positions could be uncomfortable or dangerous for clients who are wearing face coverings. Accordingly, massage professionals may consider other appropriate precautions such as draping a client’s head and face cradle cover with a thin cotton pillowcase. Otherwise, a face covering should be worn during portions of treatment in which the client is not prone or face down.
- Screen customers for illness upon their entry into the premises
- Screen and temperature-check all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms.
- Employees should increase hygiene practices—wash hands more frequently, avoid touching face, practice good respiratory etiquette when coughing or sneezing. Change any protective garments on a regular basis and sanitize reusable garments such as aprons or smocks at least once per day.
- Employees should wear a cloth face covering (not N95 or medical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers) and other personal protection items as recommended by the CDC. If masks become wet or visibly dirty, they should be replaced.
- All employees should wash hands between serving each customer, and more frequently as necessary. If appropriate for the service provided, gloves are recommended and should be discarded after each customer. The use of gloves should not be considered a replacement for frequent hand washing.
- Perform regular disinfection of high-touch surface areas (e.g., door handles, counter space, light switches, tools, and instruments) at least every two hours and when visibly dirty.
View the full guidance here.