Reopening Information for Salons & Barber Shops

  • Announcement

  • Safety Plan Checklist

  • Developing Your Business-Specific Safety Plan

  • Personal Care Advisory Committee

Collaborative Process Between City & Local Proprietors Sets Higher Safety Standards and June 1 Reopening Date for Somerville Salons & Barber Shops

Compliant Safety Plans, and adherence to State safety guidelines required; Blow-drying initially prohibited as safety remains under review

After a collaborative effort by Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, local salon and barbershop owners, the Somerville Board of Health, and City staff, a reopening timeline and safety requirements are now in place for Somerville hair service providers. Establishments will be allowed to reopen on June 1 on the condition that they submit compliant safety plans to the City, follow all safety requirements in the State’s reopening plan, and, until further notice, do not offer blow-drying.

“Our guiding principles here are to protect worker, customer, and community safety with the hope that everyone can open once and stay open. We want visitors to our local businesses to know that the owners and the City are fully informed, vigilant, and committed to safety. It doesn’t mean we will be able to prevent all risk. The virus is still here. But in Somerville, our salon and barbershop owners have gone the extra mile to review, prepare for, and take every precaution to reduce that risk,” said Mayor Curtatone.

After a review of Governor Charlie Baker’s phased reopening plan, the City of Somerville previously announced a more cautious Monday, June 1, start for certain on-premises businesses such as manufacturing, offices, and certain personal services, while also stating that additional safety needs for hair salons and barbershops would be under review. Over the past week, the City’s Economic Development team held a virtual forum for salon and barbershop owners in the city, which led to intensive and swift work by an advisory group.

Over the course of five days, a self-selected advisory group of hair service providers representing the roughly 70 providers in the city worked with City Health Department, Inspectional Services, and Economic Development staff to review the array of safety protocols announced across the nation, dig into existing research, review equipment needs and sources, and issue final recommendations that exceed the requirements of the Governor’s plan. They also identified some aspects for which they asked the Mayor to advocate for change.

“I am honored to be a part of this and I’m grateful that Mayor Curtatone created this opportunity for all of us to work together. It was helpful to work with a health official as we worked through this because our main goal here is to open once and do it well and safely. Getting this right the first time is best for us, our staff, our customers, and the public,” said Lindsay Griffin, of Lindsay Griffin & Co., one of three co-chairs of the advisory group.

Key differences include that Somerville salons and barbers are opening one week later than allowed by the State, and in Somerville, the submission of a compliant safety plan is required (plans should be submitted to [email protected]). Inspectional Services will be carrying out spot inspections to ensure proper plan implementation. Blow drying will also temporarily not be allowed; this service will remain under review. A safety plan checklist is being prepared based on State guidelines and local discussion; it will be shared with all owners to standardize key requirements.

“I’m glad the Mayor wants to go above and beyond the state guidelines,” said Griffin. “We would rather be more cautious, and I think we really did this right. I’m on board with the no blow drying requirement. We did this in just a few days, so I have to admit it was stressful, but it brought all of the owners together with one goal, and doing that strengthened the community and formed new relationships that will be important to all of us going forward.”

As a result of advisory group discussions, the City also committed to reviewing possible options for COVID-19 testing to be expanded to workers in Somerville, not just residents. Owners also self-organize to create information-sharing channels to share ongoing tips, solutions, PPE resources, and other related information, and City staff will be assisting with compiling safety supply and equipment sources as well. Finally, a number of concerns were raised about whether gloves, rather than rigorous handwashing, aid or detract from safety in the salon context, and a request was made for the Mayor to raise this with the State.

“This is the greatest public health crisis of our lifetimes, and that demands the greatest community effort to get through it,” said Mayor Curtatone. “I want to thank our local proprietors for the extraordinary sacrifice they’ve already made by closing to help flatten the curve, and for their commitment to safety going forward. But the other half of this equation is the public. Our best chance of safely easing into reopening is if everyone continues to follow safety guidelines. You must continue to social distance, wear face coverings in public, wash hands thoroughly, cover your coughs and sneezes, and stay home if you feel unwell or if you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Our businesses are committing to keeping us safe and each of us must commit to keep them and all of us safe too. The better everyone sticks to the plan to keep the curve flat, the sooner we can head back toward life that is closer to normal. It’s up to us.”

The official order, safety plan checklist, and any updates will be posted this page as soon as they are available. (Update: The safety plan checklist can be found on this page under the "Safety Plan Checklist" tab.)

Somerville Requirements for salons and barbershops are as follows:

  1. Effective at 12:01 am, June 1, 2020 hair salons and barbershops may open their businesses to workers and customers, provided that they follow the workplace rules and standards set forth and referenced herein.
  2. All hair salons and barbershops must maintain and follow at a minimum the safety rules and guidelines referenced in the Governor’s COVID-19 Order No. 33.
  3. Before being permitted to open, each brick-and-mortar location shall submit a compliant COVID-19 Safety and Layout Plan to the Inspectional Services Department for review. The plan shall be made available to workers, customers, and City inspectors. 
  4. The City, through its enforcing agents, shall have the right to request modifications to the Safety and Layout Plan so as to bring it into compliance. Businesses that fail to comply with health and safety requirements, as determined by the City’s enforcing agents, may be required to cease operations until they can safely resume.
  5. In addition to the service restrictions set out in the Commonwealth’s sector-specific guidance, blow-drying shall not be permitted until further notice.
  6. A customer log, as referenced in the Commonwealth’s sector-specific requirements, must date back to a minimum of four weeks, to allow for contact tracing. 

For more COVID-related information, resources, and supports for Somerville businesses, visit somervillema.gov/CovidBizHelp

For more information and regular COVID-19 updates, visit www.somervillema.gov/coronavirus and sign up for City alerts at www.somervillema.gov/Alerts. We urge you to sign up for every alert method you are able to receive: phone call, text, email. Also follow FB.com/SomervilleCity and @SomervilleCity.

Step 1: Complete the Required Commonwealth of Mass Self-Certifications for All Businesses

  • COVID-19 Control Plan Template: Fill it out, then print it out and keep in on hand in your place of business
  • Compliance Attestation Poster: Print it out, sign it and post in an area within your business premises that is visible to workers and visitors
  • Employer Poster: Print out one or more copies of the poster and display them in a visible area of your business to describe the rules for maintaining social distancing, hygiene protocols, and cleaning and disinfecting
  • Worker Poster: Print out one or more copies and display them in a visible area of your business to describe the rules for maintaining social distancing, hygiene protocols, and cleaning and disinfecting

Step 2: Review and Print out the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Safety Standards for Hair Salons and Barbershops

Step 3: Complete the Required City of Somerville Requirements

  • Business-Specific Safety Plan: Prepare and print out a safety plan specific to your hair salon or barbershop. The Safety Plan details how the thirty-four industry-specific Commonwealth reopening guidelines will be applied to your specific salon or barbershop and details the social distancing, hygiene, staffing, operations, cleaning and disinfecting protocols shops will put in place to ensure that virus spread is minimized. Keep the printed Safety Plan on hand. 
  • Email it to City of Somerville Inspectional Services Division at [email protected]
  • Business-Specific COVID19 Layout Plan: Prepare and print out a layout plan which details all of the physical modifications outlined in your Safety Plan. It’s fine to mark up the layout plan that you had to submit to the Commonwealth for your shop's license. Keep the layout plan on hand 
  • Email it to City of Somerville Inspectional Services Division at [email protected]
  • Customer Appointment Log: Keep a customer log for the previous four weeks of appointments available for inspection at all times. Electronically-stored or paper logs are fine, so long as you have the customer and contact information saved.

The Safety Plan is a critical element necessary to prove that you’re ready to open your shop in Somerville. Just the act of sitting down and writing a plan will allow you to generate new ideas and anticipate potential problems before you open. A great place to start is by reviewing all thirty-four separate guidelines found in the Commonwealth’s Personal Care industry guidelines. Then, think about and write down how you will meet these guidelines in your shop. Consider what problems you might have to keep people socially distanced and what physical and procedural changes you may have to make to keep workers and customers safe and confident.

A sample plan can be found here so that you can get an idea of the level of detail that’s expected. But, remember that every shop has a different size, shape, and layout. And, once you have your own way of running your shop. Your Safety Plan needs to be customized to your unique shop.

Members of the Personal Care Working Group developed an online form that can walk you step-by-step through all of the guidelines that you’ll need to consider. You aren’t required to use it, but it just might get you started. If you use the form, save your work and then email the completed form to [email protected]. Then print out a copy and keep it on hand at your shop.

 

Name

Salon/Barbershop

Fernanda Macedo (co-chair) Fernanda’s Beauty Salon
Christine McSheehy (co-chair) HAIR by Christine & co
Lindsay Griffin (co-chair) Lindsay Griffin + Co
Renata Goncalves RENATA & Co.
Toni LoPresti Clementine Hair Studio
Stephen Ferriera The Barbers Den
Dina Posada Di'Adara Salon & Spa
Anthony Berriola Razors Barbershop
Michelle Powers Rao Studio M
Carlo Rossetti Salon CŪ
Meaghan Gallant Hair at Little Hollow Salon
Anita Hastir Kaya Beauty Spa
Lori Pino Amal Niccoli
Lisa DeSimone Soma Salon & Spa
Stephen Mackey Somerville Chamber of Commerce
Tom Galligani (City Liaison) City of Somerville Economic Development