Local non-essential businesses reopen under Kemps’s order

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Despite concern from citizens and even the president, many non-essential businesses are back open in Savannah.

Gov. Brian Kemp issued an order earlier this week to allow many businesses, including salons, to open doors.

But it’s far from business as usual.

“No mask, no entry,” is the policy at New Era Hair Studio at the corner of Skidaway Road and Derenne Avenue. Owner Shannon Stafford said she’s doing a “soft reopening” with just one client Friday, and a host of safety precautions.

“You’re going to see a sign when you enter the salon saying ‘Please Wash Hands,’ then come back to the receptionist’s desk and you’re at that point going to sign in,” she said.

Stafford makes sure every styling station and shampoo bowl is disinfected between uses. She also plans to take every customer’s temperature and have them fill out a questionnaire about any COVID-19 symptoms they’ve experienced.

Stafford said most clients are ready to get back in her chair.

“Now the clients are kind of ecstatic,” she said, “they’re going to actually be able to get services in a controlled environment.”

However, the excitement isn’t universal. Many owners and managers, of places like bowling allies and nail salons, wouldn’t speak to News 3 on camera, because of community backlash.

All of them said it was time to get their employees back to work and they all had signs posted about maintaining health standards and social distancing.

There are fears that it’s too soon to reopen non-essential businesses because it might trigger a new spike in Georgia’s already growing number of COVID-19 cases — creating a tough choice for some business owners between being cautious and making a living.

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