As businesses reopen, McMaster urges SC to 'be safe, but go' (copy)

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster speaks with reporters after the first meeting of accelerateSC, his advisory group about reopening the state economy, on Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Columbia, S.C.

An executive order issued by S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster that has kept close-contact businesses closed since March will officially be lifted Monday.

These businesses were temporarily closed in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, McMaster has stated.

Businesses that are reopening are still subject to social distancing guidelines and regulations. Business owners should implement these regulations in an effort to protect their staff and customers, McMaster said, though law enforcement retains the right to bring criminal charges against groups of three or more people whose actions cause threats to public health and safety.

Businesses that are reopening include:

• Nail salons.

• Tanning salons.

• Tattoo parlors.

• Gyms, yoga and other exercise facilities.

• Spas.

• Public and commercial pools.

• Hair salons.

• Massage parlors.

• Waxing salons.

Among the guidelines put in place to limit the ongoing spread of COVID-19, businesses should significantly lower their building capacity, take customers by appointment only and supply PPE to staff if possible. 

Businesses may also consider doing regular temperature checks of employees or customers to limit contact with people displaying coronavirus-like symptoms. Employees and customers who are sick should remain at home, and sanitizing procedures should be increased in frequency. 

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has posted these guidelines for reopening businesses on their website, which is available at

The website acknowledges that screenings will not protect against asymptomatic carriers of the virus. Other recommendations, such as the use of outdoor venues and staggering start times for employees, are also recommended.

The CDC website contains additional recommendations for employees and owners of businesses to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Kristina Rackley is a general assignment reporter with the Aiken Standard.