Salon, gym, restaurant owners frustrated as they are left out of reopening plan

Restaurant and hair salon owners had hoped to hear some guidance from Gov. Phil Murphy about when they could reopen.

News 12 Staff

May 30, 2020, 2:32 AM

Updated 1,419 days ago

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Restaurant and hair salon owners had hoped to hear some guidance from Gov. Phil Murphy about when they could reopen.
Murphy did not mention these industries during Friday’s briefing. But the governor did use his executive powers to ensure that this summer is somewhat normal during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor signed an order Friday concerning summer camps, which will be allowed to open by July 6. It is a week later than Jonathan Gold, owner of Oak Cred Day Camp in Somerset, was planning to open. But Gold says that the restrictions won’t inhibit the fun.
“Children will not have to wear masks at camp. We don’t think it’s healthy. We don’t think pediatricians will support that,” says Gold.
But masks will be required on buses transporting the children. Gold says that he fully expects that the kids will be allowed to swim while attending camp. He will have sanitization stations in place and campers will be in smaller groups. Gold says that camp is a vital source of day care for working parents. He says that 70% of his parents want their children to return to camp.
“We manage risk, that’s what we do. Imagine inviting 100 kids to your house for the afternoon,” he says.
Murphy is also allowing child care centers to open by June 15 and non-contact sports can restart by June 22.
But other industries are not so lucky. The owner of a hair salon in Sea Girt says that she has been told that if the salon opens on June 1 – as many hair salon owners had planned – she could face criminal charges, issued a summons and lose her license to operate for a year.
“If someone feels unsafe to come to the salon, then don’t come to the salon to get your hair done,” says salon owner Kellie Johnson. “We have UV filtration. We have ventilation, touchless sanitizers everywhere.”
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Johnson has also put up plexiglass around the chairs and customers and stylists will be wearing masks. The salon will be working at 50% capacity when it can reopen.
The salon owner says that she needs to reopen soon or her 18-year-old business will fold.
“As of June 1, I will owe $85,000 in rent,” she says.
The owners of salons, gyms, restaurants and retails shops are calling on the governor to let them reopen sooner than later so that they can continue to make a living. But Murphy did not give any date for when these businesses can open.
“It’s time to let the people of New Jersey make their own educated decisions as to whether or not they choose to go out or stay home,” said one restaurant owner Friday afternoon.
Members of the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association were expected outdoor dining to be approved before this weekend, but it was not. They will have to depend on takeout and deliveries for now to stay afloat for now.


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