Masks required, no walk-ins: Prepare for changes at Milwaukee salons, barber shops

NOW: Masks required, no walk-ins: Prepare for changes at Milwaukee salons, barber shops

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- As barber shops and salons start to reopen in Milwaukee, there are questions about the safest ways for them to operate.

Autumn Alaniz owns Dapper Classic Barbershop at the corner of Farwell and Kane. In efforts to protect her clients and barbers, she said she's sticking with her original reopening date of May 26.

"I think there was like a misconception that the state was going to open, the doors would fling open and everybody would just say, 'C'mon, get your hair cut,' but that's not really how it works," Alaniz said.

She said after the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling, she was flooded with phone calls and messages from clients.

"Ultimately, if we're not fully ready to perform our services in a way that we can keep everybody safe and healthy to the best of our ability, we're just not going to open," Alaniz said.

Milwaukee city leaders and Barbicide, a disinfect company specializing in the salon industry, covered best practices during a webinar Saturday morning.

"We are going to see that it's not so much what our state requires of us anymore. It's going to be what the consumer requires," Leslie Roste, RN of Barbicide, said during the webinar.

The city has implemented requirements hair and nail salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, day spas, electrolysis providers, waxing salons, eyebrow care establishments, body art establishments and tanning facilities looking to reopen. Those requirements include but are not limited to:

  • All workstations must be 6 ft apart.
  • Only one client per service provider will be allowed in the facility at a time.
  • No congregating in common areas or lobbies.
  • Clients and staff will all be required to wear face masks or face coverings.
  • Walk-in clients will not be allowed.

Salons are encouraged to discontinue cash payments and encouraged to use Venmo, Apple Pay or other systems that don't require an exchange between customers and clients.

City officials said not allowing walk-in clients will help with contract tracing efforts.

"If we do have a situation where someone tests positive and we have to do the tracing, this allows our public health department to get in touch with those individuals," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Alaniz said the biggest obstacle she faces in being able to reopen is the disrupted supply chain.

"I would really like to ideally have a bulk amount of (masks) for people to purchase when they come to the shop if they don't have their own," Alaniz said.

When her barber shop does reopen, clients will be required to wait outside until their appointments, clients won't be allowed to bring extra people and everyone will have to wash their hands upon entering. She also is putting up partitions in between work stations and is even moving one work station into a different room in efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.

"We're extremely close to people. We're as close to people as you can be. We're touching your mouth. We're doing beard trims," Alaniz said.

At this time, she's not accepting new clients, but she said that is temporary.

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