Gov. DeWine Sets Opening Dates for Ohio Restaurants, Bars and Hair Salons

Outdoor dining can reopen May 15, indoor dining can reopen May 21 and salons and personal services can reopen May 15

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click to enlarge Eli's BBQ - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Eli's BBQ

As anticipated, Gov. Mike DeWine today gave restaurants the go-ahead to reopen — May 15 for outdoor dining and May 21 for indoor dining — assuming they follow the best practices as recommended by the restaurant advisory panel and adopted by the state.

Hair salons, barbers and other personal services may reopen on May 15 as well under best practices, also decided on by an advisory panel.

These guidelines are designed, says the governor, to marry the science and practicality of each particular industry.

The guidelines for restaurant reopenings include but are not limited to:

  • A floor plan that mandates parties of 10 or less, with parties separated by six feet or a physical barrier such a tall booth back or Plexiglas. This is in place of a strict occupancy-percentage as anticipated.
  • Public waiting areas will be altered or eliminated.
  • Customers will be asked to self-monitor for symptoms.
  • Employees will largely be required to wear masks, but with exceptions for some positions. Customers may be asked to wear masks as well.

Bars represent a unique challenge, but they will not be treated differently from restaurants. If you have tables and chairs and can comply with the restaurant guidelines, you can participate in the reopening.

For hair salons, Debbie Penzone, president and CEO Charles Penzone Salons in Columbus and member of the advisory board, said clients and customers who visit salons or other personal service industries starting May 15 can expect to see changes including professionals wearing masks, extra cleaning and sanitization between each guest, people waiting in their cars for their appointments and not the waiting room and some salons will be asking customers and clients to wear their own face coverings because of the proximity required during a cut and color, massage, etc.

“What we have to do to do these two things at once — keep us safe, get the economy back — is complicated. And what we have to do to fight back against the virus is quite complex." said DeWine during the press conference. "The best practices in these businesses and these professions we talked about today and all the other ones, that’s very important. And it’s important that everybody out there in business and profession follow what your peers have come up with as being the best practices so that we can ensure that employees are safe, and we can ensure that customers are safe and that people have confidence that they can in fact go out.”

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