Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced on Tuesday salons and barbershops in Texas will be allowed to reopen this week as long as they adhere to certain restrictions.
Abbott told reporters “cosmetology salons, barbershops, hair salons, nail salons and tanning salons” can reopen on Friday, May 8 but stressed they are under no obligation to do so.
In order to operate, stylists will be required to work with one customer at a time, and those who cannot maintain a distance of six feet in the waiting room should remain outside. Abbott also recommended that salons and barbershops work by appointment only and suggested that both the worker and customer wear face coverings.
The governor also said gyms will be permitted to open their doors this month — Monday, May 18. However, certain restrictions will apply. For instance, customers must wear gloves, and gyms are only permitted to allow 25 percent of their respective capacities. Sanitization of equipment between use is also required, as well as proper social distancing.
“We know that as we begin reopening, there could be flare-ups,” Abbott warned, announcing that “Surge Response Teams” will remain on standby.
Abbott announced the grand reopening of the state early last week after consulting with public and private leaders and medical experts on the Strike Force to Open Texas. The state formally entered the first stage of reopening on May 1, allowing retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and malls to operate at a limited capacity.
The Texas governor originally excluded barbershops, bars, gyms, and hair salons from the first phase of reopening, citing experts who suggested it was “simply not safe enough” but adding that he hoped they could reopen by mid-May. At the time, he said he hoped the state could move into Phase 2, which opens more businesses and allows businesses “opened in Phase One to expand the operations,” as early as May 18.
The news coincides with the plight of a Dallas hair salon owner, who passionately defended herself during a contempt hearing for reopening her business during the lockdown order.
“I have to disagree with you sir when you that I’m selfish,” Salon Á la Mode owner Shelly Luther told Judge Eric Moyé, who “offered her the opportunity to avoid jail time by apologizing and admitting her actions were wrong,” as Breitbart News reported.
“I have hairstylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids,” she told the judge.
“So, sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed then please go ahead with your decision but I am not going to shut the salon,” she added:
The judge told Shelley Luther she
could avoid jail time if she apologized, admitted she was wrong, and agreed to close her hair salon until it was allowed to open.
— Andrea Lucia (@CBS11Andrea) May 5, 2020
The judge ordered her to seven days in jail and slapped a $500 fine for every day the salon stays opened. The total amounted to $3,500 as of Tuesday. Luther’s attorney plans to appeal the judge’s ruling.