COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Governor Henry McMaster is lifting restrictions on close contact businesses next week.
“Since sometime in March, the virus has been chasing us, but now we’re chasing the virus,” he said during a press conference in Columbia on Monday. “When the virus came, we did not shut down like some other states, but we did slow down. Now we’re accelerating back up.”
Gov. McMaster said he hopes the state will be back up to full speed soon.
In doing so, Gov. McMaster announced he is lifting restrictions on close-contact services and recreational and athletic facilities and activities on Monday, May 18th at 12:01 a.m.
McMaster says these businesses and facilities should follow guidelines and recommendations for safety and sanitary practices as detailed by AccelerateSC.
These close-contact services include barbershops, hair salons, waxing salons, nail salons, tattoo and massage parlors and tanning salons.
The athletic facilities and activities include fitness centers, gyms, spas, public and commercial pools, yoga and other exercise facilities.
Gov. McMaster’s announcement comes after nearly three weeks of AccelerateSC Task Force meetings aimed to reopening the state’s economy in a safe and proficient way.
“With our increased capacity for testing the people of our state, it is time to responsibly and gradually get these small businesses back up and running,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “We have an opportunity to set an example for the rest of the world by reinvigorating our economy while staying safe, but we can only do that if South Carolinians continue to follow the advice and recommendations of our public health experts.”
Additionally, Gov. McMaster said a comprehensive re-entry plan has been introduced for state employees.
The first group of state employees will return to their offices no later to June 1st, once there is appropriate and ample personal protective equipment on site.