Luling resident Alex Harmon, who owns AH Esthetics in Luling, said it was a huge relief when she heard she would be able to open the doors to her shop under Phase 2 of the state’s coronavirus reopening.
“The uncertainty of the pandemic had me very concerned for the future of my business,” Harmon said. “It has been a struggle, not just financially, but emotionally.”
Harmon said is excited to again be able offer customers the wide range of treatments – including facial treatments, brow shaping, lash lifts and makeup – that her shop is known for.
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Monday that Louisiana has made enough progress in suppressing the spread of the coronavirus to move into Phase 2 of reopening, a move that will further loosen restrictions on businesses and social gatherings.
“The people of Louisiana have done an incredible job flattening the curve here, and I’m thankful for their compliance and hard work,” Edwards said. “Likewise, the state has matched their efforts by ramping up both testing and contact tracing …all of this has allowed us to get to a place where we can move into Phase 2 on Friday.”
Edwards said he would sign a new proclamation Thursday, June 4, that would officially move the state into Phase 2. The new set of rules will take effect Friday, June 5, and be in place for at least three weeks.
Under Phase 2, retailers, restaurants and all other businesses that have been operating at 25% capacity for the past few weeks can up their capacity to 50%. Bars and breweries without a food permit are allowed to reopen at 25% capacity.
Spas, massage parlors, tattoo parlors, bowling alleys, arcades, trampoline parks and event centers are all allowed to open under Phase 2.
Michael Hernandez, along with Jed Spurgeon, owns the tattoo shop Precision Ink in Boutte.
“It’s been really hard these past few months having basically all your income potential taken away and not knowing when the end would be in site,” Hernandez said. “Watching other businesses that don’t practice the same sterilization procedures as we do be allowed to open, even if it were at a reduced rate, just honestly didn’t seem fair.”
Edwards said individuals at a higher risk for contracting coronavirus, including the elderly and people with underlying health conditions, should continue to stay home. He encouraged everyone to wear masks when outside of the home.
“Everyone should consider their own risk and the risk of those in their households as they plan their public outings,” Edwards said. “There are still thousands of active COVID-19 cases in Louisiana and public health experts have increased warnings about asymptomatic people being able to spread the illness unknowingly.”
Carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, fairs, contact sports, children’s indoor play centers, theme parks and music halls will remain closed during Phase 2.
Carole DeZarn, a Luling resident who owns Softtouch Permanent Makeup in Metairie, said she is very happy that Phase 2 means she will finally be able to get back to work.
“My clients have been waiting almost three months for their beauty treatments and permanent makeup,” she said. “I am a saver, but we have lost a lot of income, still continued to pay rent and utilities and insurances.”