DALLAS - People in Texas can start getting haircuts this Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday.
Texas hair salons, barbershops, nail/tanning salons can reopen May 8. Gyms will be allowed to reopen at reduced capacity on May 18.
There will be one customer per stylist, people can only wait inside if they maintain social distancing and appointment scheduling is encouraged to avoid walk-ins congregating.
Stylists and customers will be encouraged to wear masks, Abbott said.
“This allows these types of businesses to open up, but it doesn’t require them to do so,” Abbott said. “Every owner of every salon should use their own best judgement.”
Melissa Renee is a hair stylist who hasn't seen clients since mid-March. She says she needs the money and is ready to get back to work.
“As soon as that announcement was made, I had text messages asking when can I get in?” she said. “Every customer that comes in will have to sign a waiver. There's a hand washing station. Of course, we all will be wearing masks.”
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Gyms and exercise facilities will be allowed to open May 18 at 25 percent capacity. All equipment must be disinfected after each use and customers must use gloves and maintain six-feet social distancing. Showers and locker rooms will remain closed. Equipment brought into the gym, like personal yoga mats, must be disinfected before and after use.
Joy Lipson is the owner of Black Swan Yoga Dallas. She already has a plan in place.
“Once we open May 18, we'll have everyday cleaning. Mid-day, we'll shut down and let them come in, and then once we close at night. Clean seven days per week as well.”
There’s still no date set to reopen bars in the state, but Abbott is encouraging feedback from bar owners.
“We are still working on safe ways to establish safe distancing at bars,” Abbott said.
Lee Daugherty owns Alexandre's in Oak Lawn. He agrees with the governor's decision.
“The challenge with bars is that people come to bars to socialize,” Daugherty said. “We can remove bar stools. They've move back. We can limit the size of parties, but it's really hard to regulate people not socializing.”
Governor Abbott also talked about plans for high school and college graduations, but many North Texas schools already have their own plans in place that would meet state guidelines.
Office buildings will also be able to reopen on May 18 up to 25 percent capacity if employees can work within social distancing guidelines.
Abbott also clarified the 25 percent capacity limits do not apply to outdoor seating at restaurants, but the social distancing rules of six feet do. The capacity limit does remain in effect for indoor seating.
Abbott clarified that weddings are part of the ceremonies involved in rules for religious services, funerals, burials and memorials. They can occur, but all have limited seating arrangements, like alternating rows and social distanced seating. Abbott said health officials encouraged at-risk people to watch remotely. Also, any wedding receptions should abide by the same capacity rules as restaurants.
Abbott said flare-ups are expected as Texas opens up and they have surge teams prepared to respond.
“They’re working on mitigating strategies where there is a flare up,” Abbott said.
Since the pandemic began there have been 427,210 total tests statewide and 33,369 positive results with 16,791 patients recovered. There have been 906 COVID-19 fatalities in Texas.
Abbott's office has said the number of daily confirmed cases is expected to increase as the state ramps up testing to nearly 30,000 tests per day.