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Restaurants, salons scramble to reopen

Salons and restaurants were given the green light to reopen in the next week, but they say it's not that simple.

PHOENIX — Arizona gave restaurants and salons the green light to reopen in the next week, but the owners of those businesses say it's not as simple as just opening their doors.

Salons and barbershops can open for business starting Friday, May 8. Restaurants can reopen for dine-in service on May 11. Both businesses will have heavy safety guidelines in place to try and control the spread of the coronavirus.

“My biggest concern is making sure that my staff is safe," Mane Attraction Salon owner Chris Knudsen said. "So we’ve spent the last month securing about a four-month supply of PPE.”

Personal protective equipment, or PPE, will be required of salons when they reopen. There are also other restrictions in place, such as having customers wear masks and limiting the number of people in the salon and waiting area.

But some salons were surprised by the governor's announcement. Michelle King rents a booth at a salon. She said she didn't know the announcement was coming and didn't know how to get the required PPE. 

“It’s kind of short notice," King said. "Shutting down is one thing, but reopening is another.”

Restaurants are in a similar situation. 

The state's guidelines suggest things like:

  • Proper distancing between patrons
  • Limiting the number of total patrons to 10
  • Usage of technology to decrease the number of patrons
  • Increased sanitation methods
  • Moving away from physical menus

But for restaurant owners, the more immediate concern is simply getting the people, supplies, food stock and customers to reopen. 

“We’re trying to get the machinery of the restaurants running again," said Andrew Fritz, owner of Citizen Public House, The Gladly and Commander Hamburger. 

Fritz said restaurants that could stay open for take-out orders are further along toward reopening than those that closed completely.

“It feels a little like we’re building restaurants from scratch all over again," Fritz said. "Things are going to change."


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