Tennessee Governor to Allow Service Retailers in Most Counties to Reopen on Wednesday

by Alex Tostado

Nashville, Tenn. — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee will allow personal service businesses in 89 of the state’s 95 counties to reopen under strict guidelines Wednesday as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the country’s economy. The governor’s office estimates 38,000 people will be able to return to work. The remaining six counties — Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan — will create individual plans in consultation with their locally run health departments.

The state’s guidance applies to personal services including barber shops, hair salons, waxing salons, nail spas, massage therapy services and substantially similar businesses that require prolonged close contact with customers.

Some of the guidelines include:

  • Limit the number of customers to 50 percent of fire code capacity;
  •  Services will be offered by appointment only, meaning no walk-ins;
  • Workstations should be at least six feet apart, with additional measures taken as necessary to ensure that all people stay six feet apart at all times except for the staff providing a service to their client. Physical barriers can be used where necessary;
  • Prohibit use of waiting areas;
  • Ensure thorough workstation and equipment disinfection after each customer;
  • Do not allow non-customer companions to accompany customer during a service; and
  • Do not allow group or communal settings for close contact personal services (e.g., couples’ massages, salt rooms, saunas, pools).

As of this writing, there were more than 13,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tennessee, with Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan counties accounting for 6,325 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

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