What to expect when NJ salons, other personal care reopen on June 22
Before the coronavirus pandemic forced doors closed at Louis Christian Robert John Salon, the Cherry Hill establishment would handle 100 clients at one time during a heavy rush.
"If we're lucky, we'll get 50 now," owner Louis Christian told New Jersey 101.5.
The salon this week is undergoing its own makeover in order to adhere to orders from the state and maintain social distancing among staff and clients when it's allowed to once again open to the public, along with other personal care businesses, on Monday.
Christian had been one of a group of salon owners working on best practices, well before New Jersey on Tuesday released its requirements for salons to reopen.
Staff and customers at Christian's salon will be masked, and operators will be limited to one client at a time. Partitions will separate clients in the shampoo and pedicure areas.
"It's certainly going to be a change for a business that is so used to being full of personality," Christian said.
Appointments are to be required for all services, and only staff and clients receiving services should be inside the establishment, according to the health and safety standards released Tuesday by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.
Temperature checks are mandatory for clients and staff prior to entry, and individuals with a temperature over 100.4 will not be allowed inside to work or for an appointment.
Steps are to be taken to ensure at least six feet distance between individuals wherever possible.
"As New Jersey continues to take steps to strategically reopen businesses, we can't let our guard down," Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a press release. "As personal care services resume, it's important that businesses and professionals offering these services — as well as their clients — take precautions to diminish the risk of infection."
Executive Order No. 154 from Gov. Phil Murphy established a June 22 reopening date for hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, massage establishments, tattoo parlors, tanning salons and other personal care services, as part of "Stage 2" of New Jersey's road back from the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Paula Phillips, owner of Willow Massage Therapy in Little Silver, said she likely won't reopen until June 29. She's still waiting on an ultraviolet wand, meant to kill germs and coronavirus.
"Massage therapists — they should have already been using hygiene protocols," Phillips said. "We wash our hands in between every client, or at least we should. We change the sheets between every client, or at least we should be."
As an extra precaution, Phillips will be adding a layer of covering to lie between the client and the table. An antimicrobial cloth will be placed under the sheet, as a shield against viruses and bacteria.
Contact reporter Dino Flammia at email@example.com.