First Round of Maine Businesses Prepare to Reopen Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Phase 1 of Gov. Janet Mills' reopening plan begins Friday

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As the first round of businesses get ready to reopen in Maine on Friday, the people who own them are rushing to prepare.

On Tuesday, Gov. Janet Mills announced the extension of the state's stay-at-home order to May 31 and her administration's plan to gradually reopen the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Phase 1 of the plan begins Friday and includes allowing certain businesses to begin reopening.

At Dunegrass Golf Club in Old Orchard Beach, owner Dominic Pugliares says he's excited to get people on the course though it will be a little different than last season.

"You really won't see anyone in front of or behind you," he explained. "We have raised our flags, we have spread our tee times."

To be precise, the tee times will be spread 12 minutes apart.

Other regulations developed with the state for all golf courses include golfers only being allowed to drive alone and to use carts that have been wiped down.

Plastic guards have also been placed in the actual holes on courses. Someone putting will have to bounce their golf ball off the plastic guards in order to finish that hole.

"It's better to be safe than sorry right now and being able to be open which is really the key," Pugliares said. "Elation is not too small of a word to use."

Hair salons are preparing to open Friday as well.

Alanna York, owner of Head Games Salon in Portland, says she's stocking up on masks and sanitizing wipes.

She and other salon owners in the city plan to impose restrictions like limiting their business to one client at a time, locking their doors while a client is in the business and keeping waiting areas empty.

At Green With Envy, which has salons in multiple Maine cities and towns, clients are being encouraged to download an app to help adjust appointment times in a more fluid way.

General manager, Tazia Ackerman, says that some stylists do have concerns about coming back into work with COVID-19 still circulating but many customers are contacting the salons asking when they can get appointments.

Other businesses besides golf courses and hair salons that can open in Maine on Friday include barbershops, auto dealerships and pet groomers.

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