DEPTFORD, N.J. (CBS) — People in New Jersey rushed to hair and nail salons Monday, the first day they were allowed to open in three months. Snagging a coveted appointment felt, for some, like winning the lottery.
“I don’t like people looking at my toes unmanicured,” said Susan Draus, a customer at Belle Palace in Deptford. “I’ve been hiding them for the past few months.”
“We’ve been calling since 6 a.m.,” said October Mercado of Westville.
Belle Palace manager John Nguyen can barely keep up with the demand.
“The phone is ringing off the hook,” he said. “We just can’t answer all the phone calls right now, but we will get back to everyone as soon as everything settles down.”
Nguyen’s duties in the age of COVID-19 now include taking temperatures at the door and making sure clients fill out a health screening questionnaire. People are spaced out as they receive services and glass barriers will be between nail technicians and clients. Everyone must wear a mask.
The same goes for hair salons, which were just as busy.
“It’s been all day, all night appointments,” said Nicole Newman, co-owner of Casual Cuts in Mt. Ephraim.
Newman says she and her partner spent a month reconfiguring the salon’s layout before opening day.
“We actually spread everyone out, social distancing, six feet apart,” she said. “We have tape all down through here, moved into our third store[front], so we are definitely separated.”
Returning customers say they definitely notice the difference and are glad to be back.
“Usually it’s packed,” said customer MaryAnn Alessandrini. “Usually everyone is sitting side-by-side. I feel totally safe and I’m going to look so good when this is done! No more gray!”
In addition to hair and nail salons, spas, tanning salons and tattoo parlors were also allowed to reopen Monday in New Jersey.