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SC governor gives update on reopening business, virus response

The state has been moving to reopen different business sectors in phases.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster's task force to reopen South Carolina met again this afternoon to review plans on safely allowing more people to go back to work.

McMaster is set to speak any minute now about what was discussed. 

AccelerateSC was formed last month to come up with ways to quickly and safely reopen the state's economy. The Response group is supposed to identify challenges related to workforce capacity, workforce re-entry, critical industries, capital requirements, regulatory issues and supply chain/logistics. 

South Carolina has already gone a long way to reopening. On Monday, McMaster announced that so called "close contact" businesses can reopen on May 18. That group includes barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, tattoo parlors, and massage services.  Commercial gyms can also open, including yoga studios, barre classes, and others. 

RELATED: Local gyms flexing to get ready to reopen

RELATED: Salons prepare to reopen next week

The businesses must adhere to safety guidelines, including sanitization and social distancing requirements. 

McMaster also announced that some state employees who'd been working from home will start coming back now, with all of them expected to be back by June 1.  

Earlier this week, restaurants were allowed to begin serving customers inside their stores, although there are heavy restrictions, including limiting capacity to 50 percent and spacing customers 6-8 feet apart.  

RELATED: All South Carolina restaurants can reopen for in-store dining 

McMaster first started lifting restrictions last month in a phased approach that he says is based on data and science. On April 20, he reopened all retail stores, albeit with social distancing restrictions, and allowed beaches to reopen as well. 

RELATED: SC governor lifts mandatory home or work order, allows outdoor restaurant dining

On Monday, May 4, McMaster lifted the state's mandatory home or work order with had been in place for nearly a month, changing it to voluntary. He also allowed outdoor dining at restaurants to resume that same day.  

RELATED: SC governor reopens beaches, retail stores across the state

He's also stopped the restrictions on travel and short-term rentals for people coming from so-called "virus hotspots" in other parts of the state.