Fresh Salon and Spa, Downtown Sarasota. 

Phase One of Florida's re-opening has begun, and that includes salons, spas and barbershops. In an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued mandatory requirements for these businesses, including serving customers by appointment only, allowing 15 minutes between appointments for sanitation, prohibiting group appointments (such as wedding parties) and requiring employees to wear masks at all times.

The administration also encourages—but does not require—salons, spas and barber shops to thoroughly clean and disinfect surfaces, tools and linens before reopening, even if they were cleaned prior to closure; provide unworn masks to clients; and removing all frequently touched items, such as magazines, newspapers or service menus.

Still feeling hesitant about venturing out for a haircut? Here are specific actions two local salons are taking right now.

Fresh Salon Sarasota on Main Street is requiring stylists and customers to wear masks and sanitize their hands upon entering the salon and in between appointments. Each station is cleaned regularly, and customers are also asked questions about whether they've been ill in the last 14 days or have recently traveled. Stylists are working 12-hour shifts to accommodate the backed-up waiting list of customers.

"We sanitized the entire place a week before opening," says Fresh spa director Karen Strand. "We placed inventory orders in anticipation of opening, and I'm so grateful we did." 

"We are doing everything we can to accommodate clients because we feel bad for them," Strand adds. "They really want to get in." Overall, she says, clients have been grateful and understanding, and Strand feels confident the salon can continue to operate at this new normal.

APX Barber Co. on First Street is also open for business, and shop owner Andre Pergolese says things have been running smoothly, despite lack of space.

"We are pretty small as it is," says shop owner Andre Pergolese. The shop has three chairs and no waiting area for guests, so booking appointments online has been crucial. Barbers and customers are required to wear masks and sanitize often, and stations are cleaned after every appointment. APX is also running at 60 percent of what it was pre-COVID, but hopes to accommodate more customers soon.   

"Some customers aren't as carefree as others," says Pergolese. "But the people calling in and following the rules are excited to come back." 

Fresh Salon and Spa is located at 1819 Main Street, Suite 118, Sarasota. To schedule an appointment, click here or call (941) 906-7709. APX Barber Co. is located at 1269 First Street, Sarasota. Call (941) 552-9663 to schedule an appointment. 

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