DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — The state's stay-at-home order expires at the end of April, which has many local businesses hopeful they might be able to reopen in some capacity.
A hair salon owner in downtown Delray Beach is preparing for a potential reopening on May 1 and has developed a plan to abide by social distancing guidelines.
Before COVID-19, owner Lauren Donald had eight stylists working at her salon at one time, along with support staff. In mid-March, a few days before she was ordered to, she made the decision to close to help flatten the curve.
Now, six weeks later, Donald hopes to reopen Bond Street Salon once the state and county stay at home orders expire May 1.
If the orders are not extended, and the state gives non-essential businesses the green light, she's already developed a plan to operate the salon with only 10 people in the 1,000 square-foot space at a time.
"We are also implementing mask wearing for both ourselves and the clients," said Donald. "We're not going to be serving coffee or water or magazines, or anything that people can touch."
Donald said she will also have her clients check out over the phone to minimize person-to-person contact. Also, her salon's makeup application services will not be offered.
She said she is eager to get her staff back to work, which has not received unemployment benefits since the shutdown.
Donald said she understands there is a possibility that stay-at-home orders could be extended, but she wants to be ready to get right back to work once she's allowed to.
"It’s a double-edged sword. I'm concerned about not going back to work and about being able to support my staff and my salon, but I'm also concerned about going back too soon and exposing us too soon to this deadly virus," added Donald.
Once she can reopen, the salon will have extended hours she says so every stylist can work on staggered shifts to have no more than four at a time.
"I can't wait to get back to what I love," said Donald.