Governor gives go-ahead for barbershops, salons to open

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis posted a video Friday afternoon featuring Orlando barbershop owner John Henry, who announced that starting Monday, barbershops, hair salons and nail salons will be allowed to reopen in most of the state after being shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
    Gov. Ron DeSantis posted a video Friday afternoon featuring Orlando barbershop owner John Henry, who announced that starting Monday, barbershops, hair salons and nail salons will be allowed to reopen in most of the state after being shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Coronavirus hair can soon be professionally snipped.

Gov. Ron DeSantis posted a video Friday afternoon featuring Orlando barbershop owner John Henry, who announced that starting Monday, barbershops, hair salons and nail salons will be allowed to reopen in most of the state after being shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are ready to get back to work and make some money,” Henry, who operates J Henry’s Barber Shop, said in the video. 

The video was posted shortly after DeSantis said Palm Beach County will be included Monday in the first phase of the state’s economic reopening. That will leave only coronavirus hotspots Miami-Dade and Broward counties out of the first phase.

The news was welcome in Lake City.

“Praise God. Finally,” said Louise “Miss Wezzie” Huelskamp, owner of Ms. Wezzie’s Haircuts in Lake City. “Though I didn’t expect it so soon and was planning to have a little work done on the shop Monday. Well, we’ll just have to reschedule.”

After forcing businesses to shut down or dramatically scale back operations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, DeSantis last week announced the first phase of a reopening effort that included allowing restaurants and retail stores to serve customers with limited capacity. The first phase took effect Monday for all but Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

While announcing Friday that he would include Palm Beach County, DeSantis said he would also like to move Miami-Dade and Broward into phase one, possibly starting May 18, as they’ve also had “good trends” in efforts to control the virus.

“I think that there was a sense that they needed a little more time to be ready to reopen,” DeSantis said during an appearance at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach. “And I think that that’s fine. We want them to do it in a way that it’s going to be successful. It’s going to be smart. It’ll be step by step. But we really want people to have confidence in what’s going on.”

DeSantis has not set a timeline for the second and third phases of his reopening plan, which are expected to allow businesses such as movie theaters, gyms and tattoo parlors to reopen and eventually allow people to visit hospital patients and long-term care facilities.

The governor also said Friday his office is working on a proposal for President Donald Trump to try to prevent international air travelers from bringing the virus into the state. DeSantis earlier directed travelers from virus hotspots New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Louisiana to self-quarantine if they came to Florida.

“You look at a Brazil or some of these places in South America, if they have the epidemic on the upswing there, and people are coming into Florida, they could be introducing that. That should not be a risk that is placed on Floridians,” DeSantis said. “That’s something that the airlines need to work out on the front end. So, we’re working on how that would make sense.”

Last week while DeSantis was at the White House, Trump suggested Florida could be “cutting off” travel from Brazil.

DeSantis replied “not necessarily” about Florida imposing a travel ban from the South American country, which has seen a spike in cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

But DeSantis said airlines should be required to test passengers before they board international flights to keep people from bringing new cases to Florida.

“Maybe some of these airlines, it should be on them to check before they’re getting on and coming to this country,” DeSantis said during the April 28 White House appearance. “I mean, you’ve seen what happened with the China flight restrictions that kept a lot of people from seeding the West Coast.”