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Salons and barbershops are reopening today in Tampa Bay. Here’s what you should know.

Make an appointment. Bring a mask. Wait outside until your appointment.
Barbers, from left, Jason Griffiths, of Clearwater, Ray Elson, of Oldsmar, Joe Andaloro, of Dunedin, and Morris Hensley, of Safety Harbor, work to clean and sterilize their work spaces at McGuire's Barbershop For Men Monday in Dunedin.
Barbers, from left, Jason Griffiths, of Clearwater, Ray Elson, of Oldsmar, Joe Andaloro, of Dunedin, and Morris Hensley, of Safety Harbor, work to clean and sterilize their work spaces at McGuire's Barbershop For Men Monday in Dunedin. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published May 10, 2020
Updated May 11, 2020

Starting today, barbershops, hair salons and nail salons will be allowed to reopen in most of Florida, according to an executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis Saturday. But they will have some new requirements aimed at continuing to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

What does that mean if you’re itching to get a long-awaited haircut? Here’s what you need to know:

What will be allowed to open?

The new order allows barbershops, cosmetology salons and cosmetology speciality salons that adopt social distancing measures to reopen in most of Florida. That includes hair services, nail salons and facial specialists.

The executive order doesn’t apply to Broward County or Miami-Dade County, which have been hit hardest by the virus and are still operating under stricter lockdown orders.

What’s still closed?

Wellness establishments, such as gyms and yoga studios, still aren’t open.

Related: Barbershops and salons can reopen Monday in most of Florida, DeSantis says

What kinds of measures do salons have to follow?

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation issued the following orders:

— All salons must operate by appointment only to limit capacity. No drop-ins allowed.

— Salons must leave 15 minutes between appointments to allow time for employees to properly disinfect spaces.

—Group appointments are not permitted.

—Employees must wear masks while performing personal services.

The department also encouraged salons to take further precautions to ensure social distancing, including cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces, tools and linens every day; providing unworn masks to clients during their appointments; removing unnecessary, frequently-touched items like magazines, menus, paper products and decor from the customer service area; and finding ways to limit capacity in waiting areas, such as asking clients to wait in their vehicles until an employee finishes cleaning and preparing their service station.

What precautions should I take?

Experts say salons are still risky places to visit, because of the close interaction between stylist and client. If you’ve been feeling unwell lately, err on the side of caution and stay home.

If you do decide to go, bring your own mask, just in case. Clients are not required to wear masks during appointments, but experts say ideally, both you and your stylist should be protected to limit any chance of droplet spread while in close contact.

If you arrive before your appointment, suggest waiting in your car or outside. Besides your stylist, stay six feet away from others. If your stylist is exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus — like coughing — experts suggest leaving.

And definitely call ahead. Not every salon will be up and running yet and the governor’s order requires you to make an appointment anyway.

Related: Reopening in the coronavirus era: How to adapt to a new normal

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