Health and Wellness

From hair salons to casinos, here's what reopened businesses could look like post-pandemic

Modified tiers of the theatre 'Berliner Ensemble' are pictured on May 28, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images)
Florian Gaertner

Around the world, businesses closed amid the Covid-19 pandemic have slowly started the process of reopening. But even reopening comes with some risk, so many businesses have come up with creative and safe ways to reduce the likelihood of transmission.

From plexiglass barriers separating customers from employees, to parking lot waiting rooms, here's what you can expect to see.

Seats removed in theaters 

The Berliner Ensemble, a theater in Berlin, typically seats 700 audience members. In preparation of reopening in September, 500 seats have been removed throughout the theater, to allow guests to be 1.5 meters (about five feet, in accordance with German government guidelines) apart, The Guardian reported May 29. 

The Berliner Theater once housed 700 seats for patrons. Now, 500 seats have been removed for safety. Photo: Britta Pedersen/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa (Photo by Britta Pedersen/picture alliance via Getty Images)
picture alliance

"We want to create an experience that is special, that will anchor itself in people's emotional memory," Oliver Reese, artistic director of Berliner Ensemble, told The Guardian in response to the reorganization.

In addition to the seating arrangement, the theater plans to get rid of intermission to avoid long bathroom lines, and keep doors open to encourage airflow. 

Spaced-out hair salon stations 

James Corbett, owner of James Corbett Studio in the Flatiron District of New York City, isn't sure when he will be able to have clients back in his salon. But he's been staying abreast of safety measures in other states that are further along in the reopening process, and planning for his return hopefully in mid-June.

So Corbett removed half of the chairs in his salon to allow for more physical distance, moving some into closets and on an outdoor patio, and placed privacy screens that he had leftover from an event between the chairs.

James Corbett is using privacy screens to separate stylists. He also removed half of the chairs in his salon in New York City.
Courtesy of James Corbett.

"The screens just created a more serene environment that was safe, but feeling less intimidating and less anxiety-producing," he tells CNBC Make It. "Feeling more of an upgraded spa, rather than a clinic."

But physical distance is just one piece of the prevention measures. Stylists will be following "intense, rigorous sanitation processes" including regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces and disinfecting equipment using Barbicide. Other changes include cutting back on the retail space in the salon, adding split-shifts for staff and shifting to a cloud-based remote receptionist. 

Salon Parlour, a hair salon in Cincinnati, Ohio, reopened on May 18 with a number of safety measures in place, including adding plastic shields between hair-washing stations and removing the waiting room. Clients are expected to wait in their cars until it's time for their appointment, according to the salon's website. Temperature checks are administered before entering, and those with a temperature over 100 degrees in the last four days aren't permitted inside.

A customer gets their hair washed at Parlour Salon in Cincinnati, Ohio. Masks and temperature checks are required for customers and employees. (Photo by Jason Whitman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Stylists and clients must wear face coverings during appointments. To cut back on the length of appointments, blow-outs are also limited, and the salon's website says you should prepare to possibly leave with damp hair. 

Gyms with dividers between machines

In the U.S., states like Texas, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona have reopened gyms with precautionary measures such as reduced capacity and increased cleaning. Last month, the Hong Kong gym chain Pure Fitness shared this photo of cardio machines separated by clear dividers. 

At Pure Fitness gym in Hong Kong, clear dividers have been installed in areas where physical distancing isn't possible.
Courtesy of Pure Fitness Hong Kong.

Partitions alone aren't enough to protect gym-goers from Covid-19, so experts say that machines should also be spaced out at least six feet apart. In addition, fewer people should be allowed inside exercise facilities at one time to reduce the risk of transmission. 

An Orangetheory Fitness location in midtown Atlanta opened on May 23 with new class guidelines.

Coaches and staff are required to wear masks at an Orangetheory Fitness gym in Atlanta, Georgia. For patrons, face coverings are optional. Photographer: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

For starters, the classes are shorter and smaller. Masks are required for instructors and staff, but remain optional for members. Exercisers are assigned a specific location in the studio and treadmill spot ahead of time, and must remain outdoors until five minutes before class to avoid congregating, Orangetheory said in a Facebook post. Treadmill fans are turned off, and showers and lockers are closed.

Gambling tables with shields

Casinos on the Las Vegas strip opened their doors Thursday with some changes to the gambling tables and casino floors.

For example, at all MGM properties, which includes the Bellagio Resort and Casino, employees must adhere to a detailed safety plan that includes temperature screenings and mandatory masks, according to a release on the resort's website.

In areas where it's difficult to maintain physical distance, such as at the front desk or at game tables, plexiglass barriers have been installed.

Plexiglass safety shield dividers are shown attached to a mini-baccarat table at Bellagio Resort & Casino (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller

Inside the Bellagio casino, every other slot machine is "out of service" so people cannot sit close to one another. Fewer people are allowed at each game table as well.

A hand washing station stand on the casino floor during a media preview in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photographer: Joe Buglewicz/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hand-washing and sanitization stations have been added to the casino floor. Guests are encouraged to wear a mask, and required at certain tables where distance can't be maintained. Markings on the carpet indicate appropriate social distancing. Touchless payment methods and hotel room keys have been added to reduce transmission. 

Nail salons with fiberglass windows

As with hair salons, nail salons in certain states have reopened.

Nail technicians sit behind plexiglass barriers at a nail salon in Coral Gables, Florida. Photographer: Jayme Gershen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

According to the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), in order to maintain safety, nail technicians must wear gloves and face coverings and have a temperature check before each shift.

Since nail services require close physical touch, plexiglass shields may be installed between the technician and customer to prevent transmission. 

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