Barber shops, hair salons working on plan to ensure customer safety when they re-open

BOSTON — The closed signs are still hanging on the doors. It’s been lights out at out of the barber shops and salons since mid to late March.

Guy Ragusa, who has been running Sebastian’s Barber Shop in Roslindale for nearly 30 years, says his customers are itching for a haircut.

“I have been stopped, once in my car," said Ragusa. “My customers asking hey when are you going to open up. I said you are going to have to ask Charlie.”

Governor Charlie Baker announced this week a re-opening plan is now in the works. Viewers took to Twitter to show us how their hair is holding up during the pandemic. Some seem terrified, sad, confused and just plain unruly.

Ragusa spoke to Boston 25 through Zoom and asked him if he has ever had a work stoppage like this before, this long.

“Never, never, an occasional blizzard or snow storm, stuff like that a couple of days,” said Ragusa.

Ragusa has been surviving thanks in parts to grants from Boston Main Streets Foundation. Now, he’s working on a plan to make his shop as safe as possible for the re-open.

“Obviously the re-spacing, trying to figure out the spacing between customers waiting and also spacing between barbers,” said Ragusa.

Some salons are already talking about proactive changes. One is installing Plexiglas between the chairs, making sure employees wear face shields and getting rid of coffee stations.

Many businesses may start doing all payments online, offering customers free masks and using a reservation system instead of customers waiting. Ragusa just wants to implement the new regulations and start serving his community again.

“Absolutely,” said Ragusa. “Hopefully [we can] take care of everyone as best we can, safely.”

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