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Zucco’s Dog House in Hampden and Shear Attraction Salon in Bangor reopened for business Friday as part of the first phase of Gov. Janet Mills’ four-stage restart of the state’s economy after weeks of a broad shutdown.
But they’re not running as they did before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
Watch: Reopening a hair salon during a pandemic
Personal care businesses, including barber shops, hair salons and pet groomers, are among those allowed to reopen this month. As they reopen, they have to meet a stringent list of state requirements aimed at keeping as much distance as possible between customers and business owners to prevent transmission of the coronavirus. Many aren’t rushing to reopen.
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Pet groomers, for example, are supposed to communicate with pet owners by phone to arrange appointments, pickups, dropoffs and payment. They’re supposed to provide their own leashes, so they’re not bringing pet owners’ leashes into their buildings. They can’t groom any pet from a household where someone is ill with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Pet owners and their families cannot gather in the establishment.
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Cindy Pelletier of Sebec had to reschedule twice to have her 9-year-old Cairn terrier, Morty, groomed at Zucco’s. So she was excited that he finally had his chance Friday.
“He is definitely in need of a grooming,” she said. “His coat is 3½ inches too long. He is going to look amazing because underneath that long charcoal coat is a brindle puppy.”
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At Shear Attraction, Owner Cristy Strout was excited to see her customers, but reopening wasn’t easy, she said.
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“Today I feel like a kid in a candy store because I get to see people and I get to do what I love,” she said.
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While seven stylists work at the salon, only two or three will work at any given time so it’s easier for all to keep their distance from each other, Strout said. The waiting room is closed.
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State rules salons and barber shops limit the number of customers at any one time — in some cases, waiting areas are closed and customers are waiting in their cars — and require that shops see customers by appointment only.
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Stylists and customers are required to wear masks. Stylists are supposed to wear gloves and smocks and change them between each client, and put clean capes on each client (the state encourages disposable gowns as an option). They’re supposed to ask customers whether they’ve experienced any coronavirus symptoms before cutting their hair.
Watch: Nirav Shah on whether you should use fabric masks