Gyms, other ‘close-contact services’ reopen under phase 1 guidelines


MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – Gyms, salons, and other “close-contact services” get the green light to reopen on Monday, beginning the phase one process. For the first time in nearly 50 days, Governor Henry McMaster is allowing “close-contact services” to reopen in South Carolina.

Time, preparation, and new guidelines made it possible for close-contact services to open today. Several owners began enforcing new guidelines and said it’s worth having their business back.

“When we opened this gym it was a very similar situation you work so hard to build your business and that’s why small business means so much to the owner you put your heart and soul into your business,” Colby Utt, owner of American Fitness said.

Inside gyms, things may look a little different. Water fountains, showers, saunas, and every other machine blocked off during phase one of reopening. On Monday morning before sunrise, American Fitness welcomed back familiar faces.

“So we opened the door we made sure everyone was safe, no one had a body temperature, everyone knew the proper protocol for safety and then they hit the gym and everybody was excited, the energy was great, we had the music back on and it just felt like home again,” Utt said.

Upon entering, members will have their temperature checked at the door and a mask required to enter the building. All members and staff must have a temperature below 100.4 to enter the gym. Every two hours a cleaning crew will take sanitary actions.

Tanning salons are taking similar sanitary measures and restricting one person in the salon at a time.

“If there is a wait we are just texting people while they are out in their cars and bringing them in,” Cassandra Bryant, the store manager at Tantalizing said.

Hospital-grade sanitizer will be used and left on tanning equipment for a longer period.
The manager said before reopening, the salon was bleached top to bottom.

“We have them bringing their towels out so we are not touching when we do spray tans, we are using masks just because that’s the only time we are one-on-one with a customer,” Bryant said.

It may not have been exactly back to the old ways, but owners said the smiles and energy flowing in the doors are worth the new way.

“Just the people… it’s nice to be able to talk to someone and just see their smiles when they come in and just making people feel great, that’s a good thing,” Bryant said.

“Just getting to see the reaction and excitement from people being back and knowing that everything you worked so hard for comes together at the right time and it came together today,” Utt said.

Businesses opening today in limited capacity:

  • Barber shops 
  • Hair salons 
  • Waxing salons 
  • Threading salons
  • Nail salons & spas
  • Body-art facilities/Tattoo shops 
  • Tanning Salons 
  • Massage therapy establishments 
  • Massage Services 
  • Fitness Centers 
  • Commercial gyms 
  • Yoga studios 
  • Barre Classes 
  • Pools 

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