Gov. Tate Reeves reopens tattoo parlors, casinos with new guidelines

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves provides his daily updates about coronavirus in the state on May 4.

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JACKSON, Miss. — Gov. Tate Reeves has amended Mississippi’s Safer at Home to reopen tattoo parlors and casinos.

Reeves made the announcement Friday afternoon, during his daily COVID-19 press briefing.

“Our safer-at-home order does not expire until May 25th, but I don’t want to wait if there are things that we can safely do to allow people to return to work,” Reeves said.

According to a release from the governor’s office, the amended executive order allows tattoo parlors to reopen with health guidelines that are similar to the ones salons and barbershops have to follow.

The governor’s office says tattoo parlors can begin reopening Friday.

The announcement comes after days of confusion surrounding tattoo parlors in the state. Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite had interpreted Reeves’s previous Safer at Home order to include reopening tattoo parlors, but Reeves disagreed with that interpretation.

Reeves also announced casinos can begin reopening May 21 with “strict guidelines” for casino workers.

“We’ve been working with the Mississippi Gaming Commission, and they have set a date and guidelines for casino workers to safely return to work,” Reeves said.

Reeves said casinos will not open at full capacity and will have to enforce social distancing rules.

The governor said that the reopenings do not mean the coronavirus is no longer a threat.

“Please play your part, please be responsible,” Reeves said.

The guidelines are included below. The full executive order is available here.

For businesses:

  • Before they can reopen, the tattoo parlor must be deep-cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized top to bottom. After opening, tattoo parlors must be deep-cleaned daily.
  • All tattoo parlors are expected to take every step necessary to implement the regulations, orders, and guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health and CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Services are allowed only by appointment. No walk-in customers at this time.
  • Minimizing person-to-person contact through technology, like mobile or online reservations and contact-less payment, is encouraged.
  • Tattoo parlors must post signage at each entrance stating no customer with a fever or COVID-19 symptoms are allowed in.
  • Only one customer per employee is allowed in the tattoo parlor at any given time.
  • Tattooing and piercing around the mouth and nose are prohibited.
  • Chairs are to be rearranged to ensure at least 6 feet between each customer.
  • Chair and workstations must be sanitized after each use by a customer.
  • All high-touch areas must be sanitized at least once every two hours.
  • Hand sanitizer must be placed at all entrances.

For employees:

  • All employees will be screened daily at the beginning of their shifts, including asking whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have they had a fever in the last 48 hours.
  • All employees must be provided training on how to limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • Face coverings must be provided to all employees who come in direct contact with customers. Employees are encouraged to wear face shields while tattooing a customer.
  • Employees must also wear disposable gloves and change them between customers, as well as wash their hands between every customer.

For customers:

  • All waiting areas are to remain closed. Customers must wait in their vehicles until their appointment time and they are called for screening before entering.
  • Customers must sanitize their hands when entering and exiting.
  • All customers must be screened upon entry.
  • Customers must wear a face covering, such as a cloth mask, while inside at all times.

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