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Local business still face challenges as Beshear eases capacity, face masks restrictions

Published: May. 7, 2021 at 9:11 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As Gov. Andy Beshear gradually lifts COVID restrictions, Kentucky businesses are still experiencing hardships.

Beshear announced Thursday all businesses and events under 1,000 people can increase capacity to 75% starting on May 28, which includes facilities like retail stores, salons, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, weddings, and memorial services.

Beshear also relaxed mask rules for small private or business gatherings starting Thursday, so long as people are fully vaccinated.

Hair salons like Sensations Salon & Day Spa in the Highlands are still not exempt from mask requirements. Owner Missy House told WAVE 3 face coverings have been a challenge throughout the pandemic.

“Haircuts around the ears, clippers, it’s been kind of a nightmare but we’ve made it work,” she joked. “Just takes some common sense.”

House said pandemic restrictions were still curbing business and that she has catered to only about 50% of the customers she normally has.

The salon owner said she was unsure if the increased capacity guidelines would put more people in her salon chairs.

“The restrictions, even if they weren’t in place, it would still play out this way because people are nervous about coming back in,” she said. “I have clients that I haven’t seen since this whole pandemic started since we shut down last year.”

House explained that some of her customers may not return until she is at 100% capacity and masks are no longer required.

Down the street at 502 Power Yoga, owner Cat Crawford told WAVE 3 even at 75% capacity she can still only have 15 people in a class that normally holds 48.

“So until the social distancing space is shortened — we are at max capacity as it is, which is at about 30% of our standard capacity,” she said. "

Crawford said she was also “saddened” to still see mask rules in place those she understood the continued need for face coverings.

“We can’t make sure that everyone is vaccinated, we can’t police that nor do we want to police that,” she said. “We’re doing the best we can with what we have and holding on to the hope that come fall, we can fit more people in here.”

Crawford said she has expanded her virtual class options to combat the lack of physical space at her three locations.

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