coronavirus

Maryland Barbershops Allowed to Reopen to Serve Essential Workers

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is allowing Maryland beauty salons and barbershops to reopen to serve essential personnel, but some businesses remain concerned about safety.

Thomas Stewart, owner of Studio 54 Groom Room in Glendale, reopened his business Thursday after a month of being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Today is the first day of my new life as a barber, and we’re going to see how it goes,” Stewart said.

Under the new law, barber shops can only service essential personnel by appointment only. Those personnel must have documents proving there's a groom standard on their job, and barbers must keep it on file. Barbers must have masks for themselves and their clients and disinfect after.

“We are an industry where we’re hands on. We’re more hands on than your supermarket workers, than your restaurant workers. We touch clients, we breathe the same air our clients breathe,” Stewart said.

Damon Dorsey, president of the American Barber Association, has 3,000 members across the country, and he’s worried about their safety as states start sending certain businesses back to work. They've gotten a lot of calls of some barbers catching the virus and others dying.

"I can't tell the Maryland governor what to do but I can say that hopefully what he's doing is in the interest of being safe," Dorsey said.

Stewart said even though he’s ready to open his doors, he's losing a lot of clientele: no children, seniors or non-essential employees. He knows things will not be as they were for the time being.

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