Billings salons and barber shops saw a surge in calls from clients seeking appointments after Gov. Steve Bullock announced Wednesday they could reopen next Monday.
Salons must limit contact between customers and employees, limit the number of occupants in the salon at once, and keep a six feet distance between each station, according to the governor's directive.
Katryna Erb, manager of Bishops Cuts/Color in downtown Billings, said that only 30 minutes after Bullock’s press conference, she had received 75 messages from clients wanting to be booked for an appointment.
Erb said that she will be staggering employee schedules to further reduce the number of occupants in the shop at one time.
“Everybody has set shifts, and nobody overlaps more than half an hour. There is no point during our opening time where there should be more than 10 people in the shop at any point,” said Erb.
Nail salons have strict cleaning and sanitation guidelines, which Erb said will coincide with what the CDC has already recommended, in terms of frequent sanitation and handwashing.
“We still wash our hands with every client. We have GermX on our stations. We sanitize everything between clients already so, that is just kind of second nature,” said Erb.
Bullock's plan to reopen business will be carried out in three phases, with phase one starting next Monday. In addition, churches can start holding services with a limited congregation this Sunday, and retailers can open their stores Monday.
Bullock said that Montana has the lowest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the nation as of Wednesday, and Montanans have helped to flatten the curve by adhering to social-distancing guidelines.