South Carolina gyms, salons, other close-contact businesses reopen

Updated: May. 17, 2020 at 10:47 PM EDT
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YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - Finally, people in South Carolina can get a haircut and hit the gym.

Beginning Monday morning, “close-contact” businesses in South Carolina are allowed to reopen to customers with restrictions in place.

It’s the state's second phase of its reopening process.

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, gyms, fitness centers and group exercise facilities such as yoga studios, barre classes. Public and commercial pools can also reopen.

Click here to read the opening guidelines for cosmetology industry employers

They were also forced to close for more than two months due to the coronavirus outbreak.

These places that offer close contact services can open under the condition that owners enforce their customers and clients to social distance. Employees must undergo a health check and owners must follow the state's guidelines for cleaning and sanitizing equipment, tables, chairs and common areas.

For gyms, there’s a separate set of rules to follow.

There can only be five people working out per 1,000 square feet, or keep the limit to 20 percent capacity, whichever number is lower.

No one should be sharing equipment and water fountains can only be used to fill up water bottles.

For cosmetology centers, the state is asking that you wear a mask when social distancing is not possible, use a digital system to check-in and limit the number of people in a waiting area.

Office Gym, in York County, owner Aaron Skogsberg said he knows the changes will be somewhat of a learning curve, but he is asking people to not be discouraged.

He said many small businesses are hurting and need the business.

"Just get out and support small business,” Skogsberg said. “Every one of us lives in a community and we support a community, so before you hit the checkout on a cart, whether it's Amazon, WalMart, Target, or whomever, think about, can I get this from someone else that's within this community so that I can assure those doors stay open?"

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster continues to open the state in phases.

The next scheduled change comes June 1 when some state employees who are working from home will be able to come back to the office.

Click here to read guidelines for reopening public swimming pools

WCSC contributed to this story.