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Nail & Hair Salons May Be Opening Sooner Than Expected In Florida

Hair done, nails done, everything did.

Drop those scissors; you might not have to cut your bangs just yet. Governor Ron DeSantis met with the Orange County mayor and small business owners to discuss when reopening hair salons in Florida, including barbershops and nail shops, might occur. The meeting comes a day after the county mayor wrote DeSantis a letter.

"As we reopen we cannot forget our responsibility to make sure that we reopen in a very judicious way and a safe manner," Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said in a press conference on May 2. "What I've heard from many of our small business owners here today, who just happen to run barbershops and hair salons and nail salons is that they are committed to ensuring that if they are allowed to reopen, consistent with the governor's executive order, that they will do so in a safe manner."

The meeting was held at Ohsooojazzy Hair Salon in Orlando Saturday afternoon, where the governor heard what steps the group of stylists and barbers intend to use to protect workers and clients safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor has not confirmed a decision to reopen these personal grooming services in the county, nor the state. The meeting might be seen as a sign that these businesses are next on the reopening list.

“Throughout this whole time, I’ve said I’d rather get it right than get it fast,” DeSantis said. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to sit on our hands. But we just want to be very thorough about how we’re doing it.”

Among limiting the number of customers inside their shops and arranging special hours for clients who are most at risk, the owners said they had taken the necessary precautions of removing items like candy jars and product displays to deter clients from touching, as well as upgrading their sanitation procedures.

“We have hand sanitizer by the dozens in here. We have a manufacturer here in Orlando that supplies it to us, so it's always readily available,” Ohsooojazzy owner Nadine Armstrong-Tarpley said, according to CBS 12. “We’ve even gone a step further to order disposable capes, so it's never touching again. We have masks in the front, just in case someone doesn't bring one in."

The meeting comes one day after Mayor Demings sent a letter to the governor asking for these grooming businesses to reopen in his county as a part of DeSantis' phase one plan to reopen the state. 

"I support the reopening of these small businesses during Phase 1 of your plan," the letter reads. My request, in accordance with your Executive Order No. 20-112, is that these small businesses be permitted to provide services to the public under strict guidelines."

On April 29, the governor announced that as restaurants and retail stores may reopen with restrictions, businesses like gyms, bars, theaters, theme parks, sports venues, schools, and personal services like barbershops, hair, and nail salons will remain closed.

Florida will continue to open the state with restrictions and social distancing rules in effect today, May 4. Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties are excluded from the reopening order at this time, having been the epicenter of the outbreak in Florida.