Va. barbershop strives to make customers feel safe

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As The Standard Barber Shop in Fairfax, Virginia, gets back to business, its owners and employees are working to make sure their customers feel safe in an environment that some may find unnerving during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s not just a haircut anymore,” said owner Wendy Wong.

Wong said her barbers will have masks, gloves and even face shields if necessary.

“I’ll be in the shop sanitizing and cleaning and that kind of stuff,” Wong said.

The Standard Barber Shop interior. Photo is courtesy of The Standard Barber Shop.

Ahead of her business reopening, Wong held virtual staff meetings to discuss and implement a new protocol for her barbers. They will need to wash their hands more than usual and sanitize all their equipment after taking care of each client.

On the other side of the chair, clients will be required to wear a face covering.

“If they don’t have a mask, then we’ll provide a disposable mask for them,” Wong said.

Although Wong’s barbers are excited to be working again, they are not necessarily comfortable with the current situation.

“They’re scared and I think they’re also feeling a little bit of uncertainty about what’s going to happen,” Wong said.

So the business is doing everything it can to limit the risk, only offering haircuts. There will be no beard trims or shaves.

Wong’s business partner and husband Tommy Cheung said a maximum of four customers will be allowed in at a time to ensure no more than 10 people are there.

“We’re going to have each client in the corner chairs to separate them as far as we can,” said Cheung. “We’re just going one step at a time per the guidelines.”

On a typical day the shop would have a waiting room full of people.

Now, if someone is waiting for their appointment, they will need to wait outside or in their car.

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