LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson announced on Friday that hair salons and barbershops can reopen in Arkansas on May 6.

Gov. Hutchinson said this would give business owners time to prepare for the restrictions that will be in place.

“With Mother’s Day approaching, we all want a hair cut or some type of treatment, and professionals also want to safely return to the business that they love and enjoy,” Hutchinson said.

No more than ten people will be allowed inside facilities, and walk-ins will not be allowed; reservations are required.

The decision applies to barber, cosmetology, massage therapy, body art and medical spa services, Hutchinson said.

Six-foot social distancing will be required in waiting areas, and customer names and information must be recorded. Clients are also advised to wait in their cars or outside until the service is ready.

Face coverings will be required for staff and clients as services permit. Gloves should be worn and hands must be washed before and after services.

Vulnerable populations should still consider staying at home, the governor said.

Cosmetology and barber schools are not included in order, Hutchinson said.

Governor Hutchinson will make his final announcement regarding places of worship on Monday, May 4.

Laynette Riley is a hair stylist in Bentonville. She said she’s excited to get back to work.

“We were scared [when this started], and the promise for unemployment has been a failure so far,” Riley said. “People wanna feel good about themselves, this is the hard thing. This is mental as much as it is physical.”

Bronté Stewart does massage therapy in Fayetteville. She said she’s already heard from clients about getting service on May 6.

“In the past month and a half, I have been doing a lot of research, reading new books,” Stewart said. “Everything is in line, and everything is ready.”

Phase 1 guidelines for these entities include:

  • Providers may resume services; however those services shall be scheduled by appointment with adequate time in between appointments to properly clean and disinfect. Walk-in appointments are prohibited during Phase 1.
  • People older than 65 or those with chronic medical conditions should consider remaining home during Phase 1.
  • Providers must pre-screen clients for potential COVID-related symptoms before they arrive for an appointment using the following questions:
    -Have you had a fever of 100.4 F or greater in the past two days
    -Do you have a cough, difficulty breathing, a sore throat, or loss of taste or smell?
    -Have you had contact with a person known to be infected with COVID-19 within the past 14 days?
    Providers should postpone for 14 days the appointment of any who answer “yes” to any of the questions.
  • Employees/licensees shall be pre-screened with both the standardized questionnaire and a daily temperature check.  Any employee with a temperature of 100.4 F or greater will not be allowed to work.
  • Services shall not be performed on clients who show any sign of illness such as fever, cough, or runny nose.  Signage shall be posted informing clients about this policy.
  • All persons in the salon/shop/clinic are required to maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet while services are not being rendered.  For most entities, occupancy will be limited to no more than 10 persons, including all support staff. 
  • In smaller facilities, the 6 feet physical distancing condition may require that fewer than 10 persons are present at any given time.
  • Larger facilities (able to accommodate more than 10 persons while maintaining appropriate physical distancing) shall operate no more than 30% of their stations during Phase 1.
  • Barbers, stylists, and employees shall wear a face covering at all times.  A cloth face covering is acceptable for this purpose.
  • Clients shall wear masks as services permit.  A cloth face covering is acceptable for this purpose. Signage shall be posted informing clients about this policy.
  • Chairs in waiting areas shall be positioned to ensure six feet of social distancing.  When possible, clients should wait outside of the shop/salon/clinic until called by their stylist/therapist.
  • All existing infection control rules remain in effect and will be enforced.  Non-porous surfaces shall be cleaned and disinfected prior to use.  Porous items shall be discarded after a single use.
  • Gloves shall be worn for all services as required by Rule.  Licensees are encouraged to wear gloves for all other services when able.
  • Hand washing shall be performed before and after each service.
  • The Department of Health COVID Infection Control Education module shall be viewed prior to reopening.
  • Practitioners shall maintain a record of the name, date, and contact information, for each client serviced for a period of one month. This may be accomplished using a sign-in sheet.
  • Barbering, cosmetology, body art schools, and massage schools shall remain closed for in-person instruction during Phase 1. However, practical examinations are permissible if they are performed on inanimate objects such as mannequins and artificial skin. Appropriate physical distancing shall be maintained during testing.