Salons, spas and barbershops must follow these guidelines when they reopen

ATLANTA — The Georgia Board of Cosmetology and Barbers has released a set of guidelines for salons, spas and barbershops to reopen safely.

The businesses were included in Gov. Brian Kemp’s announcement to start reopening Georgia’s economy this weekend. Salons and spas can reopen Friday April 24.

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Channel 2′s Richard Elliot spoke with the board, which says it felt pressured to get reopening guidelines out quickly before all members had a chance to vote on them.

The board’s chair Kay Kendrick told Elliot they were already working on a list of guidelines when Kemp made his announcement. But the timing took her and the board by surprise.

“It kind of started to snowball. It’s happening so fast." Kendrick said. “I fully support the governor’s decision to do this. I was just surprised it was happening as quickly as it did.”

Kendrick earlier this week said many of the state’s 95,000 licensed cosmetologists and barbers are being denied small business loans and unemployment help because many are contractors.

“A large portion of them are single parents, a lot of single moms with children. Both of the girls who work at my shop are single moms with children. Some of these people have been out of work six weeks now and for them to be out of work that long without a paycheck is a real struggle,” she said on Monday.

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The cosmetology board released Tuesday night a full list of strict guidelines for shop owners and managers to follow.

If any business violates these guidelines, they could be closed immediately by the board or public health officials upon inspection.

“I deeply appreciate the work of Kay Kendrick and the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers to prepare guidelines for implementation by Georgia’s shops and salons,” Kemp said in a statement. “As we begin the process of safely reopening our economy, it is critical that business owners, operators, and contractors adhere strictly to increased safety and sanitation guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Working together, I am confident that we can get these sectors back online and work to ensure the health and safety of all Georgians.”

Here are the top-level guidelines the board has set for salons and shops in Georgia.

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. Any employee or client who has a temperature above 99°F should be sent home immediately.

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 past 14 days?
  • Are you living with anyone who is sick or quarantined?

Limit People In Shops/Salons:

  • Salons and shops should consider seeing clients by appointment only and make appointments online or on the phone.
  • Limit the number of people in the waiting area. It is recommended that clients wait outside the salon/shop in their cars until their time.
  • It is recommended that people not being serviced in the salon or shop wait outside.

Maintain Social Distancing: Spacing between persons in the salon should be at least six feet at all times. Salons and shops should consider additional spacing between booths, divider shields, and/or alternate work schedules.

Use of Personal Protective Equipment and Best Practices:

  • Employees will be required to wear masks at all times. Salons may want to consider providing masks to clients.
  • Clients should wear face masks to the extent possible while receiving services. Salons/shops should also make use of face shields, gloves, disposable or re-washable capes, smocks, neck strips, etc.
  • These items should be disinfected or disposed of between each client.
  • Employees should should arrive at the salon/shop showered and wearing clean clothing and change clothes before leaving the salon/shop each day.
  • Hand washing with soap and warm water, for a minimum of 20 seconds will be required by employees between every client service.

Cleaning and disinfection salons and shops

  • All businesses 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.
  • Disinfect all tools, shampoo areas, pedicure bowls, workstations, treatment rooms and restrooms.
  • Remove all unnecessary items from reception areas, including magazines, newspapers, service menus and any other unnecessary paper products/decor.
  • Avoiding exchanging cash, but if this is unavoidable, be sure to wash and sanitize hands well after each transaction. Credit and debit transactions are preferred, using touch/swipe/no signature technology.

Employee safety

  • Employees who are sick will be expected to stay home.
  • Owners and managers should provide training, educational materials, and reinforcement on proper sanitation, hand washing, cough and sneeze etiquette, use of PPE, and other protective behaviors.
  • Ensure break rooms are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized and not use for congregating by employees.
  • Be flexible with work schedules/salon hours to reduce the number of people (employees and clients) in salons/shops at all times in order to maintain social distancing.
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