If you feel like you’ve gotten a little shaggy during quarantine you are in luck – salons and barbershops will soon be reopening.

Personal grooming businesses, along with restaurants and bars are the latest to receive reopening dates from the state of Ohio. The dates were announced by Governor Mike DeWine during Thursday afternoon’s press conference.

In an effort to figure out the best way to reopen these businesses, DeWine said that panels were put together of business owners in each industry to discuss what needs to be done in order to reopen in the safest way possible.

“Every business is different, every profession is different,” said DeWine. “By bringing people in who understand that and do it every day – we believe we have come up with the best practices.”

On Friday, May 15, hair salons, barbershops and spas will be able to open for business so long as they comply with regulations. Social distancing will still be required for those coming into the businesses, though due to the nature of the industry, stylist will need to be closer to customers. All employees will be wearing masks and all customers are asked to wear masks as well. In addition customers may be asked to wait in their cars while waiting for an appointment.

Also on May 15, outside dining will be reopened for restaurants and bars. On May 21 inside dining will be reopened. Restaurants and bars will need to work with their floor plan to ensure that a distance of 6 feet separates dining parties. The number of people within a dining party will also be restricted to 10, keeping in line with social distancing standards for the state.

Restaurants who are unable to have tables 6 feet apart can separate dining parties with physical barriers like high-backed booths or plexiglass walls.

DeWine also suggested that COVID-19 symptoms should be listed at the entrance to dining facilities, so that customers can self-screen if they should be entering the business.

“For the last week or so, we’ve talked about how we need to do two things at once: bring back the economy and stay safe. We are Ohioans. We can do it. How we open up is so very, very important. The how is an essential part of how successful we’re going to be,” he said.

As of print time on Friday, Athens County remained at four confirmed cases of COVID-19, with only one active case. There has been one death related to COVID-19 in the county.

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