Governor Allows Salons, Gyms, Public Pools Across SC to Reopen May 18

by WMBF News Staff

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is allowing close contact businesses, fitness and exercise centers, commercial gyms and public pools to reopen.

This comes after he ordered them and other non-essential businesses to close in March to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The businesses will be allowed to reopen on Monday, May 18 at 12:01 a.m.

Close contact businesses include:

  • Barbershops
  • Hair salons
  • Waxing salons
  • Threading salons
  • Nail salons and spas
  • Body-art facilities and tattoo services
  • Tanning salons
  • Massage-therapy establishments
  • Massage services

Commercial gyms include exercise facilities such as yoga studios, barre classes and others.

“With our increased capacity for testing the people of our state, it is time to responsibly and gradually get these small businesses back up and running,” said McMaster. “We have an opportunity to set an example for the rest of the world by reinvigorating our economy while staying safe, but we can only do that if South Carolinians continue to follow the advice and recommendations of our public health experts.”

On March 31, McMaster announced the closure of many non-essential businesses across S.C. That list was expanded on April 3 after the governor cited non-compliance with social distancing.

Kevin Armstrong, the owner of Kevin’s Barber Shop, said it’s been a tough waiting game for certain restrictions to be lifted and is ready to make whatever changes he needs to get customers back in the door.

“I’m just glad that finally there is light at the end of the tunnel. For us to be in a resort area and see all the people here right now and I’m still not able to open up our doors, it’s been real frustrating. Now on Monday, hopefully the parking lot will be full and it’ll be a good day,” Armstrong said.

The “Response” component of accelerateSC, which is the group that has been tasked to safely reopen the state, has developed specific guidelines for certain businesses to help make sure customers and employees are safe.

Guidelines for businesses to safely reopen:

These guidelines include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Guidance on social distancing within businesses, including recommended capacity requirements
  • Additional cleaning and sanitizing guidelines for equipment, tables, chairs, etc.
  • Additional guidance on health checks for employees
  • Additional guidance on training for employees

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