Massachusetts Hair Salons May Reopen May 25 with COVID Precautions
Massachusetts residents desperate for a haircut during the coronavirus pandemic could see some relief as early as next week – but customers may not immediately recognize their favorite stylist or barber.
Starting Monday, hair care workers who do choose to operate under Governor Charlie Baker's new re-opening rules must wear full PPE, including face masks, gloves, gowns or smocks, and protective eyewear.
Hair shops are among the businesses that may resume operations on May 25 under a four-phased "Reopening Massachusetts" plan released Monday following two months of COVID-19 restrictions. All businesses must comply with industry-specific requirements in order to open their doors.
First off, hair salons and barbershops must require workers to wear protective gear to prevent transmission of COVID-19. Strict disinfection must take place between each customer. No sharing of tools or supplies will be allowed.
Chairs must be arranged so they are at least six feet apart. Tall physical partitions must be built between workstations where feasible. Hand-washing facilities must be made available. And ventilation must be improved – a matter that could be as simple as leaving doors and windows open, according to guidance released by the state.
As for amenities, don't expect to sip complimentary coffee while browsing through magazines or hairstyle catalogs, as all such items will be prohibited to prevent virus transmission. Waiting areas will be off-limits, and customers will be asked to wait in their cars. Contactless payment methods will be encouraged. Customers must wear masks.
Notably, salons and barbershops will be limited to "hair services only." That means no eyebrows, beard trims, lip waxing, or manicures for now.
Additionally, hair studios must keep a log of customers for contact tracing purposes in case any customer or worker does come down with COVID-19. If an employee tests positive, the local board of health must be notified, and efforts must be taken to notify anyone that person came in contact with. In event of a positive case, the entire workplace must be shut down for deep cleaning and disinfecting in accordance with CDC guidance.
Under the state plan, nail salons will have to wait until "Phase II" of the state's re-opening, which may occur in June if public health data trends continue to show a decline in key COVID-19 metrics.