Governor urging everyone to ‘be safe, but go’ as close contact businesses reopen

Governor urging everyone to ‘be safe, but go’ as close contact businesses reopen
Close contact businesses reopen in South Carolina on May 18 (Source: WIS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - For the first time in more than a month, close contact businesses like barbershops and nail salons have the option to reopen in South Carolina.

It’s another step forward in the state’s reopening process, efforts being coordinated by the AccelerateSC Task Force.

Governor Henry McMaster has repeatedly said that he’s ready for the state to get back to the thriving economy we had before the pandemic. He also continues to remind the public that the coronavirus is still a threat, adding that you’ll want to use caution as you begin heading out to support various businesses.

“I look forward to them all being opened and thriving again, and urge everybody to be safe, but go,” said the governor.

As of midnight Monday, May 18, close contact businesses like barbershops, nail salons, gyms, and also public pools have the option to reopen.

The governor’s office has provided specific guidelines tailored to each of these industries: cosmetology, fitness and public pools, to help business owners create and implement new procedures that will keep staff members and customers safe.

It’s time to begin safely reversing the effects of the outbreak on South Carolina’s economy, says the governor, who points to the more than, “400,000 people that are drawing unemployment, that are out of work. We’ve got businesses trying to open, people wanting to know when they’re going to be able to go back to school. We’ve got half our child care centers closed. We want to get back into business. Our economy is not made to be shut down. We need to get going but we have to do so very carefully, because this virus is still here. It’s still highly contagious.”

While the state continues to see new coronavirus cases daily, Governor McMaster says state leaders are beginning to switch gears in their response to the pandemic.

“We began addressing one thing, the spread of the virus. Now, we’re focusing – as we’ve gone along, it’s been an evolving thing, and we’re focusing, mainly, now on reopening, but we must focus on the elderly in the senior centers and those with, as well, as underlying conditions, minority communities, rural communities. There are a lot of places we really need to focus on now as enter into this phase of the virus and our response to it,” said the governor.

Monday marks the first day close contact businesses have the option to reopen since being forced to shut down on April 1. Business owners have the final say whether to reopen, and also how to implement the guidelines provided by the governor’s office.

During Friday’s AccelerateSC Task Force meeting, officials said it’s possible that state leaders could decide on when to reopen athletic fields and facilities on Tuesday.

Copyright 2020 WIS. All rights reserved.