By Annie Rigby
On Monday, May 11, Gov. Henry McMaster lifted restrictions on close contact services and recreational and athletic activities to open on Monday, May 18.
Barber shops, hair salons, nail salons, spas, tattoo services, tanning, massage, gyms, fitness and exercise centers, commercial gyms and public or commercial pools as well as many other businesses will reopen. Commercial gyms will include group exercise facilities such as yoga studios, barre classes and others.
“With our increased capacity for testing the people of our state, it is time to responsibly and gradually get these small businesses back up and running,” said McMaster. “We have an opportunity to set an example for the rest of the world by reinvigorating our economy while staying safe, but we can only do that if South Carolinians continue to follow the advice and recommendations of our public health experts.”
The governor’s announcement comes following nearly three weeks of Accelerate SC meetings set up for the purpose of developing guidelines for operations that each of these businesses are expected to follow, if and when they choose to open. General guidelines for close contact service providers are specific guidelines for cosmetology establishments, gyms and fitness centers and public or commercial pools. Guidance on social distancing within businesses, including recommended capacity requirements; additional cleaning and sanitizing guidelines for equipment, tables, chairs; additional guidance on health checks for employees and additional guidance on training for employees.
McMaster said the first group of state employees will begin returning to offices once there is ample PPE on site, no later than June 1. They can start as soon as equipment is there, McMaster said.
The South Carolina DMV has announced they will return to normal business hours, though they are requiring appointments to assure social distancing.
The Little River DMV has a drive-thru window to pay taxes, and if there are no tag renewal fees the sticker can be printed at the window. Their website is http://scdmvonline.com/.
A message on Railroad and Main wrote on their Facebook page, “Thank you to all of those who were praying with us. Our salon is scheduled to open next week! We are very excited to serve you again. We do ask, however, that you be patient in making your appointment. Those customers who were scheduled for the first week of April will be given first priority. Please note that once we have been given thorough regulation orders from DHEC, we will notify you of social distancing procedures. We look forward to seeing you!”