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Miami-Dade businesses begin to reopen, but customers seem to be hesitating

Customers seem hesitant as businesses in Miami-Dade County begin to reopen
Customers seem hesitant as businesses in Miami-Dade County begin to reopen

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami-Dade County has outlined an extensive 175-page guide to its Phase I reopening, but despite the detailed plan, some shoppers are still avoiding the stores, restaurants and other businesses that are now open once again.

Julie Saad, who owns North Miami Beach salon Zuka, explained that the new normal is a big adjustment.

"Lots of changes," she said. "We used to have in this area the reception area."

An area that has now been changed to enhance hygiene.

Now, appointments must be made. What used to be a busy place with five stylists now has three, in order to maintain social distancing.

A North Miami Beach beauty salon has its first customers during Phase I of the plan to reopen businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. (WPLG)

Customer Nancy Brown said other than walking her dog, the weekly supermarket visit was the only time she left her house.

"I don't think anybody knows what the new normal is yet," she said.

As a customer, Brown is taking it one day at a time, carefully choosing where she goes and spends her money.

"For right now, I'm not thrilled just go to into a restaurant," she admitted.

As for Julie the salon owner, she said people are nervous; she had two cancellations Tuesday when she spoke with Local 10 News' Hatzel Vela.

She said it doesn’t help that the messaging from cities and counties seem to confuse people.

A couple doors down from Julie’s business is another salon, but this one is for pets.

Customers have been calling, wondering when the business would reopen.

One of those customers, Lisa Shapiro, brought her dog Ozzy for his summer cut.

"This was a priority," she said. "We finally had to get it (cut). He’s hot. He needs to be shaved down."

Shapiro said that other than this, and going to the supermarket, she wasn't prepared to take any more risks.

“I have elderly folks at home and if it was just me, I think I’d be more reckless,” she said.

Across the county in Sweetwater, the owner of Pirate’s Cove, a tattoo shop, wishes she was allowed to open.

It makes no sense, because she said tattoo shops are required to follow more sanitary measures than salons or barber shops.

“We clean with medical grade tuberculocidal disinfectant after very client,” said Pirate’s Cove owner Liseth Lopez. “It something we got grown accustomed to be.”

Lopez isn’t the only tattoo shop owner that is upset. A petition has been started, with the hope of urging Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to allow the businesses to reopen sooner.

That petition can be found here.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.