New safety protocols required inside hair salons, nail salons and barber shops amid COVID-19 | The Rebound Tampa Bay

Posted at 8:28 PM, May 20, 2020

After a long two months of waiting, getting your hair highlighted, cut or heading to the barber shop may feel like a real luxury.

But what should you do before you sit down in that chair?

"I think it's important you check out your nail or hair salon. Maybe place a call to see what they're doing internally in the store to keep you safe," said Dr. Paul Nanda, Chief Medical Officer at Tampa General Hospital's Urgent Care.

RELATED: Florida barber shops, hair and nail salons now open

Dr. Nanda says because COVID-19 is airborne, it's safer to wear a mask and make sure the salon worker does the same.

"You still have a lot of people that have no symptoms or have very mild symptoms that may have an infection and be able to spread that. So by that person wearing a mask, you're actually containing those respiratory droplets from sneezing and coughing and breathing from infecting other people," he said.

And there's another reason to wear a mask.

"We always touch our faces and scratch our noses and rub our eyes. When you do wear a mask, it's a nice conscious reminder of not touching your face," Nanda suggests.

The state put in place several safety protocols for salons and barbershops to follow:

  • All salon employees must wear face masks.
  • Customers must have an appointment. There are no walk-ins allowed.
  • No group appointments are permitted right now.
  • Each customer should be seated six feet apart.
  • Salons should allow 15 minutes between appointments to disinfect all areas.
  • Salons should remove frequently touched items like magazines or service menus from the customer service area.
  • Salons are to limit gatherings in the waiting area to maintain social distance.

RELATED: Phase 1: What is reopening in Florida?

Nanda says wash your hands right after your appointment, as COVID-19 can contaminate various objects.

"Viruses can live on hard non-porous surfaces for two to three days and on porous surfaces like clothing and cardboard for about 24 hours or so," Nanda explained.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation says they'll be enforcing these new restrictions and making sure all salons and barber shops comply by maintaining routine inspections.

However, if you see a shop not following the rules, you can file a complaint with the state. Click here to file a complaint.