Nail salons reopen as Long Island enters phase 3
"Can't even begin to tell you. I can't even begin to tell you. It's been too long," said Brianna King from Oceanside.
Clients at From Head to Toe Nail Bar in Baldwin had a tough time putting in to words what it felt like to back inside the salon Wednesday— those that were able to get an appointment.
Owner Paola Baque explained, "I have a waiting list of 200 people."
She added that the waiting list is so long because of a mandatory guideline from the state — salons can only operate at 50% capacity. A tough adjustment for nail techs eager to safely see their clients again after three months away.
"We feel like we are essential because it's my livelihood — but for everyone else we are in a phase, you know, we are in a phase," shared nail technician Linda Deangelis.
The state also laid out strict sanitizing procedures for all salons to follow. To limit the amount of people touching items, some salons are removing tools from work stations. Others are using disposable tools and liners for their pedicure tubs.
Masks must also be worn by clients and employees at all times.
There are also recommended guidelines, which From Head to Toe Nail Bar is following like they are mandatory. They say they don't want to have to close up again. Baque said her staff stayed up until the early morning setting up additional partitions between work stations.
Before any appointment can begin, they are also doing temperature checks and asking clients to fill out a health questionnaire.
It's none of those rules though that the Baldwin nail salon thinks will be tough for clients to handle. They are concerned that they'll have a hard time adjusting to their no drink, no food, no cellphone policy. They added these rules because they don't want anyone to feel tempted to pull their masks down. They also are trying to prevent lingering, as after every client they must sanitize work stations thoroughly.
No clients News 12 spoke with seemed to mind.
Gaby Ramirez from Oceanside said, "I usually come in with a coffee, but you know, it's OK. We have to. At least we are open"