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Phase two of reopening includes hair salons and barbershops -- with some tight restrictions

May 29, 2020

With the Finger Lakes region entering phase two of reopening on Friday, hair salons and barbershops in Monroe County can start serving customers again -- although New York state’s reopening rules enumerate a long list of restrictions.

New York state's phased reopening process now allows hair salons and barbershops to operate in the Finger Lakes region under some new restrictions.
Credit New York Governor's Office

The businesses cannot offer any “non-haircutting-related personal care services or activities, including but not limited to: beard trimming, nose hair trimming, facials, manicures/pedicures, makeup application, threading, tweezing, or waxing,” the state says.

Hair salons and barbershops can offer services by appointment only. Seating areas must be set up to ensure that customers are 6 feet apart, and they can only be filled to a maximum of 50% capacity.

Employees also need to be tested for the novel coronavirus at least every two weeks. At a press briefing in New Rochelle on Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggested that customers should check with the businesses they visit to make sure they’re following the rules.

“If I were walking into a barbershop, I would say -- I would ask the barber, ‘Did you get a test before you reopened? When was the last time you got a test?’ ” Cuomo said.

The state’s rules also require employees to wear a mask and face shield whenever they’re in close contact with customers.

Monroe County is providing those at no cost to hair salons and barbershops, along with gloves and gallon jugs of hand sanitizer, County Executive Adam Bello said.

“Because barbers and stylists closely interact with their customers, this extra safety measure is essential,” said Bello.

The county’s stockpile of personal protective equipment had been depleted earlier in the COVID-19 outbreak, but Bello said the county now has adequate supplies “to address health and safety needs related to the pandemic.”

The county said distributing PPE will help ensure that reopening does not jeopardize public health.