COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster says barbershops, hair salons, gyms, as well as many other businesses will reopen in one week, ending weeks of restrictions on those businesses.  

McMaster announced that close contact service providers, fitness and exercise centers, commercial gyms, and public or commercial pools will be able to open in a limited capacity on Monday, May 18.

Close contact service providers include the following businesses: Barber shops, hair salons, waxing salons, threading salons, nail salons and spas, body-art facilities and tattoo services, tanning salons, massage-therapy establishments and massage services.

Commercial gyms will include group exercise facilities such as yoga studios, barre classes, and others. 

The “Response” component of accelerateSC, with advice and recommendations from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), have developed general guidelines for close contact service providers, along with specific guidelines for cosmetology establishments, gyms and fitness centers, and public or commercial pools.

These guidelines include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Guidance on social distancing within businesses, including recommended capacity requirements
  • Additional cleaning and sanitizing guidelines for equipment, tables, chairs, etc.
  • Additional guidance on health checks for employees
  • Additional guidance on training for employees

“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.”

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. 

McMaster has been reopening the state in phases. On Monday, he allowed restaurants 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. 

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A week earlier, he allowed for outdoor dining to resume. 

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.

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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: South Carolina's mandatory home or work order no longer in effect

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.