Today’s Announcement Puts Ohio’s Economy Another Step Closer to a Complete Reopening

Today, Gov. Mike DeWine provided guidance and announced a timeline for restaurants, barbers and hair salons to reopen, putting Ohio’s economy one step closer to being fully reopened. Hair salons and outside dining for restaurants are slated to reopen next Friday, May 15 and inside dining for restaurants will reopen on May 21.

These two industries have been among the ones most devastated by the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 300,000 restaurant employees have been laid off or furloughed and nearly 50% of all restaurant locations are fully closed, for example. In addition, they were among the first industries to be ordered to close in mid-March, and weren’t among the industries allowed to resume operations this week during the first phase of reopening Ohio’s economy.

In determining the timetable and safety protocols for reopening these industries, the governor relied on input from two separate advisory groups he formed last week. Both the restaurant, barbershop and salon advisory groups included Ohio Chamber members. Protocols restaurants will have to implement include new floor plans to accommodate six-foot distancing rules. The decision to require masks will be up to each individual business owner. There are additional guidelines that businesses will have to follow in terms of safety for customers and for employees – including the elimination of buffets and salad bars!

Barbershops and hair salons will operate by appointment only and the consumer may be required to have to wait in their vehicle. The individual appointments will be the only individuals in the store at that time. Masks will be worn by each of the employees and the individual businesses may require the customer to wear a mask. As is the case with restaurants, more guidance will be available from the governor’s office outlining how businesses and consumers are to comply. The industry specific guidance documents for each of the industries above will be available on the coronavirus website for the state of Ohio.

The announcement today followed Gov. DeWine’s announcement last week that detailed businesses opening this week. On Friday, May 1, hospitals opened up elective surgeries. This Monday, May 4, manufacturing, distribution, construction and general office environments reopened. As of next Tuesday, May 12, all retail businesses will reopen. The governor stated that with this action, almost 80% of businesses in Ohio will be allowed to be open.

According to the governor, the previously announced re-openings already set to occur will mean 89% of Ohio businesses will be able to operate by May 12. With today’s announcement of the reopening of restaurants, hair salons and barbershops, Ohio’s economy gets even closer to fully opening back up. As more details become available regarding this announcement and others, we will be sure to keep you updated.