NASHUA, N.H. — On Monday, retail stores, salons, golf courses and drive-in movie theaters will be allowed to reopen in New Hampshire as part of the governor’s plan to phase in business operations throughout the month of May.
Businesses that reopen will have heavy restrictions and safety procedures that must be followed, according to guidelines outlined by Gov. Chris Sununu on May 1, when he announced Stay at Home 2.0, an extension of the state’s stay-at-home order through May 31 and an incremental reopening plan for the state’s economy.
Some of the most “hands-on” workers told Boston 25 News Sunday that they felt they were ready to welcome customers back in.
“We’re very excited,” said Sara Duquette, artistic director of Cassandra Salon and Spa in Nashua. “When you take hairdressers, who are usually very busy and very chatty, and with a lot of people, and make them stay home, it’s tough. So we’re all very excited to get back to work.”
Duquette said that the salon created a reopening task force to help ease employees’ safety concerns and ensure the safety of clients.
“We put together a full comprehensive guide for our staff and we had a training with them last week," she added.
The hair salon will offer appointment-only haircuts beginning Monday.
According to Duquette, they’ll have mandatory temperature checks at the door, and clients will wear disposable ponchos and be offered masks. Workers will also wear masks and protective eye wear.
“We actually have these little signs that we’re going to put up every time something gets cleaned to show you that that area has been properly sanitized,” Duquette explained.
Not all salons, however, believe Monday is the right time to reopen.
“We made the decision based on the very restrictive rules, and not all of our employees able to come back immediately,” said Sean Gaffney, co-owner of The Hair Company in Nashua.
Sean and his wife, Missy Gaffney, both said new time limits on appointments pose significant challenges.
"The services for hair are restricted to one-hour services, and it’s almost virtually impossible to do a root touch-up in one hour,” explained Missy. “A client is going to have to come back three times in order to get their entire hair done.”
The couple said that while New Hampshire starts to phase in re-openings, they’re making the difficult decision to wait.
“For us, it just made sense for us to wait and see how the opening goes with other companies, and when we feel it makes the most sense, we’ll reopen,” said Sean.
Restaurants are scheduled to begin reopening with restrictions on Monday, May 18th.
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