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New Rules: Here Are The Guidelines For NJ's Personal Care Businesses

Christine Modica gives Jordan Galbraith a cut (pre-COVID-19).
Christine Modica gives Jordan Galbraith a cut (pre-COVID-19). Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

New Jersey's personal care businesses are going to look a whole lot different.

Set to reopen after the COVID-19 shutdown June 22, the salons and parlors will be operating under a new set of standards, released by the state's Division of consumer Affairs.

The guidelines apply to beauty salons, barber shops, makeup shops, day and medical spas (not saunas, steam rooms or bathing facilities), electrology facilities, hair braiding shops, massage parlors, nail salons, tanning salons and tattoo parlors.

  • Screening customers and staff no more than 24 hours before a scheduled appointment and immediately prior to or upon arrival at the business. Any individual who reports having any symptom consistent with COVID-19 in the last 72 hours, or having had exposure to an individual suspected of having had or confirmed to have had COVID-19 in the last 14 days, cannot be permitted to enter, whether for work or a schedule service.
  • Requiring appointments for all services, with no walk-ins being permitted.
  • Limiting the number of people allowed in an establishment at any given time. Only staff and clients receiving services by appointment should be inside the establishment.
  • Spacing appointments to allow time for cleaning and disinfecting between customers.
  • Checking temperatures for clients and staff prior to entry, regardless of symptoms. Individuals with a temperature over 100.4 shall not be permitted to enter the shop to work or for an appointment.
  • Taking steps to reconfigure the space within the business to ensure at least six feet of distance between individuals wherever possible and implementing adaptations to the space with physical barriers, signs, tape or floor markers to facilitate social distancing.
  • Requiring everyone entering the premises to wear masks or a face covering at all times, with limited exceptions.
  • Requiring the removal of reusable items such as magazines, toys, and samples.
  • Complying with additional requirements for certain services.
  • Shop owners and licensed providers of personal health services must also employ enhanced cleaning, disinfection, and other health and safety practices, and assist with contact-tracing efforts.

Personal care businesses in New Jersey have been closed since March 21, when Gov Phil Murphy's executive order closing personal care services went into effect.

New Jersey on Monday, June 15 is entering the second stage of the coronavirus restart and recovery, when nonessential retail and restaurants with outdoor dining can reopen at 50 percent capacity.

New Jersey's pools and non-contact, organized outdoor sports can resume on June 22, along with salons. Youth day camps can reopen July 6.

Several salons have tried to defiantly reopen, including Brick and Mirror Beauty Bar in Morris County. The salon ultimately decided not to reopen -- staff members did not feel safe and Murphy apparently threatened to revoke their business license, the owners said in a Facebook video.

Union City barber Edwin Ramirez invented a plexiglass barrier -- "Shield on Wheels" -- which could be a game-changer for others in his field.

Some salons are taking further measures to ensure safety at their shops, including Lillian Lee. Lee said she will be following guidelines put forth by the CDC, New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling as well as those put forth by the governor's office. Those are:

  • Staggered appointments and limiting clients/stylist in salon per hour. there will be fewer appts. available per day
  • Upon arrival, clients must call the salon in from their car and wait there until the receptionist welcomes them in. Clients must bring their own mask for safety and comfort. At an additional cost, disposable masks are available
  • Stylists will be using CDC recommended PPE (i.e., disposable face masks and capes for clients). Clients must change into a provided smock for the duration of the appointment
  • The entire area, chair, tools and surfaces will be disinfected after every appointment. Daily deep cleanings will occur

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