NJ Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Orders allowing outdoor dining and indoor non-essential businesses reopening including retail personal care service facilities, dining outdoors, hair salons and barber shops to reopen to the public provided the facilities comply with standards issued by the Division of Consumer Affairs and Department of Health.
“We’re able to confidently announce this important step in our restart and recovery because the health metrics tell us we can,” said Governor Murphy. “With the proper health and safety protocols in place, personal care business owners who are anxious get back to serving their customers and communities will have the opportunity to do so.”
Non-essential businesses reopening confidence shows mixed concerns
Many business owners have insisted in re-opening their facilities due to a dooming economic horizon. However, the Administration also recently released results of an online survey conducted in conjunction with Rutgers University’s Heldrich Center for Workforce Development earlier this month that drew responses from nearly 4,000 businesses and non-profits across the state.
Results of the survey demonstrate overwhelmingly that while the business and non-profit community is eager to get back to work, owners understand and take seriously the public health risks posed by COVID-19 and the responsibility to provide a safe experience for employees and customers. Many are worried about the effect of non-essential businesses reopening causing a possible second wave of the virus.
“This survey verified much of what we anticipated as we began the process of restarting the economy,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “While business owners are eager to get back to work and get their operations back up and running, they remain concerned about consumer and employee confidence and are eager to avoid a second wave of this insidious virus.”
A majority of owners (51%) cited consumer confidence as the most pressing issue, while 13% cited access to personal protective equipment as their biggest concern. Approximately one in 10 said employee confidence would present the biggest challenge to reopening while four in 10 listed employee confidence as one obstacle but not the most pressing one.
Special standards for special businesses
The Order further directs the Commissioner of the DOH to issue health and safety standards for use by tattoo parlors, tanning salons and other locations in which personal care services are offered by individuals who are not acting within the scope of a license issued by a professional board within the Division of Consumer Affairs.
Nothing in the Order shall prevent the provision of services to a person that is confined to their home and unable to travel due to a disability, if these services 1) are permitted under existing statutes and regulations and 2) are provided in a manner that substantially complies with standards issued by the Division of Consumer Affairs and DOH. DOH issued an Executive Directive today that includes comprehensive health and safety standards for these locations.
Cosmetology schools or other places that provide instruction and training for personal care services shall remain closed at this time.
Non-essential businesses reopening main concerns
Survey respondents want state government help to reopen safely, particularly guidance on reopening restrictions (60%), guidance on safety measures to keep employees and customers safe (49%), and help in acquiring disinfecting and cleaning products (42%).
The majority of respondents (54%) will rely on state/local government and Department of Health guidelines—greater than those who will rely on Centers for Disease Control (23%) and industry and association guidelines (14%).
Customer-facing businesses report that limiting occupancy or reducing capacity of their facilities will be the most difficult challenge.
The schedule provided by the State is as follows:
- Outdoor dining (beginning on June 15th)
- Limited in-person retail (beginning on June 15th)
- Hair salons and barber shops (beginning on June 22nd)
- Youth summer programs (beginning on July 6th)
- In-person clinical research/labs
- Limited fitness/gyms
- Limited in-person government services (e.g. – Motor Vehicle Commission)
All workers who can work from home should continue to work from home.
Additional instructions for non-essential businesses reopening
Under the Governor’s Executive Order, personal care service facilities include:
- Cosmetology shops;
- Barber shops;
- Beauty salons;
- Hair braiding shops;
- Nail salons;
- Electrology facilities;
- Spas, including day spas and medical spas, at which solely elective and cosmetic medical procedures are performed;
- Massage parlors;
- Tanning salons; and
- Tattoo parlors.
Health and safety standards for personal care services
The Division of Consumer Affairs issued an Administrative Order that includes comprehensive health and safety standards that personal care services that are licensees of the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling and the New Jersey Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy must abide by.
- Limiting services to appointment-only;
- Performing health screening, including temperature checks, on clients and staff prior to entry to the facility;
- Requiring use of personal protective equipment, and requiring clients to wear face coverings at all times, regardless of the service they are receiving, unless face down on a massage table or where doing so would inhibit an individual’s health;
- Ensuring that all staff-client pairs maintain at least six feet distance between other staff-client pairs, unless separated by physical barriers;
- Adopting enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices; and
- Staying informed about new developments and guidance related to COVID-19
Precautions that apply across all stages include:
- Clinically high-risk individuals who can stay at home should continue to do so.
- All residents and businesses should follow state and federal safeguarding guidelines:
- Wash hands
- Wear masks in public
- Respect social distancing
- Minimize gatherings
- Disinfect workplace and businesses
- Minimize gatherings
- No mass gatherings
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New Jersey will move toward subsequent stages based on data that demonstrates improvements in public health and the capacity to safeguard the public, including:
- Sustained improvements in public health indicators, including new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, individuals in intensive care, and ventilator use;
- Substantial increase in testing and contact tracing capacity;
- Sufficient resilience in New Jersey’s health care system to include adequate bed capacity, ventilators, personal protective equipment, and workforce;
- Widespread safeguarding of workplaces;
- Widespread safeguarding and capacity of child care, schools, and mass transit;
- Continued public compliance.
If public health indicators, safeguarding, or compliance worsen on a sustained basis, New Jersey will be prepared to move back non-essential businesses reopening to more restrictive stages as well.
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