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Checklist: Tattoo, massage and other parlors can reopen in Texas

Gov. Abbott provided new guidelines for business owners and patrons effective May 18.

AUSTIN, Texas — Effective May 18, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has provided new guidelines for massage and tattoo parlors, as well as other personal service businesses that wish to reopen their doors.

Monday's announcement included guidance for massage establishments, other massage services by licensed massage therapists or other licensed persons, electrolysis, waxing, tattoo studios, piercing studios and hair loss treatment and growth services.

Starting Monday, the businesses are required to:

  • Notify employees and contractors of all COVID-19 processes and procedures and require them to sign a statement acknowledging they understand and will adhere to the guidelines
  • Screen employees and contractors for symptoms before they enter
  • Consider implementing a screening policy before they receive services, including temperature checks
  • Provide resources and a work environment that promotes personal hygiene
  • Provide a place for hand-washing with both hot and cold water, hand soap, disposable towels, and a no-touch trash can

Before an appointment, the business must:

  • Limit the number of people in the building
  • Ask walk-in clients to wait in their cars or outside with at least six feet of separation between other individuals
  • Discourage clients from bringing in extra people, including children
  • Only schedule the number of clients that will allow for six-foot distancing
  • Consider posting signage at the business entrance with a phone number for walk-in clients to call to schedule their appointments
  • Only bring the client inside when the provider is ready for them
  • Remove all unnecessary items, such as magazines, from the lobby or waiting area
  • Encourage contactless payment
  • Post signage asking people with COVID-19 symptoms or those who have recently been exposed to someone with symptoms to reschedule their appointments
  • Not provide services to a client if there is reason to believe they are sick or contagious
  • Provide face coverings if possible


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One inside the establishment, businesses must:

  • Not let clients touch or handle retail supplies
  • Ask all clients to wash their hands upon entering and after each treatment
  • Take measures to make sure clients do not physically interact with each other
  • Ask all employees and clients to wear face coverings. If a face covering can not be worn while receiving the service, the client/employee must wear the covering before and immediately after the service.

While providing services, other guidelines include:

  • Providers should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before providing the service unless they wear gloves
  • Employees should change gloves or re-wash their hands after touching their face, cell phone, doors, credit card machines or any other surface they have not sanitized
  • Remove and dispose of gloves after each service
  • Use disposable supplies
  • Wipe down all services between use
  • Thoroughly clean floors every day
  • Wash towels in hot water and chlorine bleach, and only use clean towels on clients

One tattoo shop in Georgetown, T's Blues & Tattoos, said they opened last week. The owner, T. Barksdale, said she always had safety measures in place to keep her customers and employees safe. 

"We’ve always had to use these sterilization techniques and disposable stuff and all of that, you know, so this is no different," Barksdale said. "We use all brand new everything on everybody or it's been sterilized, one or the other. It's either disposable or sterilized."

For more information on the guidance for businesses, click here. For guidance for customers, click here. And for more information on Gov. Abbott's new guidelines for other businesses announced Monday, click here.


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