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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

South Carolina Gyms, Salons, Barbershops Reopen Monday With Restrictions

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After nearly two months of closings, most close-contact businesses in South Carolina will be allowed to reopen Monday, including gyms, hair salons, barbershops, and other personal care businesses. However, it's not yet a return to normal, as most businesses will have limited hours and new guidelines for social distancing and cleaning.

Gov. Henry McMaster has said the reopenings are possible because of an increased capacity in testing, but he has also encouraged businesses to take extensive precautions as they reopen. His office issued detailed guidance for close-contact businesses ahead of the reopening, though all the guidelines are voluntary.

Other business allowed to resume Monday include waxing salons, threading salons, nail salons and spas, body-art facilities and tattoo services, tanning salons, massage therapy establishments, massage services, and public and commercial pools.

Gyms Will Space Out Equipment, Limit Capacity

In a video shared with members of Gold's Gym in Rock Hill, a general manager explained several of the new changes people will see on Monday, including new social distancing reminders and sanitizing stations spread out around the facility. The gym is also canceling group classes and closing down its steam rooms and saunas.

"You're definitely going to see tons of reminders when you're here about wiping down equipment not just after, but also before," the manager, Qaden Lee, said. "It's always good to be safe rather than sorry."

The Rock Hill Crossfit also plans to reopen Monday with limited capacity, and so will the Upper Palmetto YMCA, though it will only reopen some branches and with tight restrictions.

The Lake Wylie YMCA branch will be dedicated only to adults ages 50 and up, while the CSD, Charlotte Avenue, and Baxter Close branches will be open to younger members.

All branches will have limited hours, and will close down from 2-3 p.m. Monday through Friday for cleaning. Capacity will also be limited to five people per 1,000 square feet, or 20% building capacity, whichever is greater, and locker rooms, pools, racquetball courts and drinking fountains will remain closed off. Group exercise will be offered but with limited attendance.

Hair Salons Are Booked Up, Will Limit Customers Inside

Some hair salons, such as the Vogue Salon and Spa in Rock Hill, will ask customers to wait in their cars until they're called for their appointment. Customers will also be asked to wear a face mask, and no family or friends can accompany customers into the salon.

The governor's office has also recommended that cosmetology businesses require employees to wear gloves and face masks, and not to place clients at adjacent stations, instead leaving an empty station between each client if possible.

Appointments may also be tight. Some stylists say they're booked out for weeks as they deal with a backlog of clients needing haircuts. All salons and barbershops in the state have been closed since April 1 by order of the governor.

To see a full list of the governor's safety recommendations, visit the governor's website.

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