Omaha salons navigate new restrictions while deciding whether to reopen

Published: May. 4, 2020 at 5:25 PM CDT
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After weeks of being closed, salons across the metro are allowed to open their doors to clients. But your experience won't look the same.

"We thought, well let's get started and be as careful as we can and every day we're going to learn I think, more and more on how to do it better,” said Tom Sena, manager at Garbos Salon in Regency.

For the first time in over a month, Tom Sena is cutting hair at Garbo's Salon & Spa.

“Well I can say it's definitely different cutting with a mask on,” said Sena.

As part of the new directed health measure, employees and clients need to be wearing a mask while they're inside.

Before entering the salon, Adam Podraza at the front desk will run customers through a series of questions.

"Our standard liability release form right here just includes a couple of common symptoms of COVID. We just have you go through those, make sure you haven't traveled outside of the country in a couple of days. Just a couple of different things here. I'll have you go over these once we go off-camera. I am going to take a quick temperature check like we are doing with all of our clients before we come in. As distant as I can be we are going to clear that out. It's at 96.7 so you're good," said Podraza as he ran us through the new standard questions.

You can enter once you then fill out a form.

Inside there are sneeze guards that have been put up at the front desk. Stylists are also spread out to have at least 6 feet of space.

“It's a little different. Things are definitely a lot quieter here because we have the 10 person rule so we don't have that many stylists back,” said Sena.

While Garbo’s stylists are getting used to these changes, not all salons in Omaha are comfortable opening their doors.

"It's a tough position to be in. Our governor making us as an industry choose between our health and our career, I feel is very unfair,” said Sam Blackwell, the owner of Parlour 1887.

Blackwell and her staff made the decision together not to open until there's a steady drop in cases and PPE is readily available.

"The amount of people that we see in a day, we could spread the disease really quickly,” said Blackwell.

As they approach Parlour 1887's eight-year anniversary later this month, Blackwell knows they're fortunate to have the finances to stay afloat while their doors are closed.

"I don't fault anyone for deciding to open. It's definitely their personal decision. And I know a lot of businesses have to open. They can't financially stay closed,” said Blackwell.

Right now, Blackwell is hoping things will be better by June so she can get back to the people and things she loves.

If salons make the decision to open but stylist doesn't feel comfortable coming back to work,

says they'll forfeit their unemployment.

Directed health measures are relaxing in *some* Nebraska counties today. Leigh Waldman will tell you what to expect if you head out today

Posted by WOWT 6 News on Monday, May 4, 2020