On three successive days last week Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the first phase of reopening for restaurants, gyms and indoor recreational facilities, and barbers, salons, nail technicians, body art and spas.
What that means in south Logan County varies from entity especially in regards to restaurants, which may not open for dine-in service when permitted on Monday, May 11.
Restaurants like Rockin’ Robins Cafe in Booneville and Mel’s Highway 10 Cafe in Magazine are opting to stay closed to dining in with Robins continuing to-go and or curbside service.
Others like Reid’s Hometown Barbecue are conducting polls of would-be customers to gauge how they should proceed.
In the cases of Mel’s and Robins, one of the factors leading to the decision was the one-third capacity limitation to occupancy.
Besides limiting occupancy restaurants who do open Monday will be required to have staff wear facial coverings and gloves during ordering, sanitize tables between customers, not serve groups of more than 10, not have bar or entertainment areas operational, and others.
Another limitation on self-services meant restaurants that offer primarily buffet meals, like Lin’s Buffet will likely remain closed.
Two gyms in Booneville, Anatomy Academy and Elite Physique, announced through social media they would be reopening on May 4 and would adhere to the limitations spelled out by state officials, including temperature checks.
Those also include both staff and patrons wearing masks except when exercising, with no personal contact and exercising occurring with a 12-foot social distancing requirement. Equipment must also be sanitized after each use and hand sanitizer must be available.
Any so-equipped facility also must not open pools, spas, showers, or saunas.
Gyms also remain closed to any recent travelers from hot-spots like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Orleans, or overseas.
On Friday the announcement centered on haircuts, which can happen today, May 6, by appointment only, and with no more than 10 people in a facility at any time with clients waiting outside or in vehicles for their turns.
Client name and information must also be recorded for possible use in contract tracing Hutchinson said in Friday’s announcement.
Additional requirements include face covering for staff and clients when possible with gloves worn and hands washed prior to services.