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New Jersey Gov. Murphy Gives Barbershops, Salons Hope Reopening May Be Weeks, Not Months Away

COLLINGSWOOD, N.J. (CBS) -- Salon owners in New Jersey learned Thursday they may be able to reopen in just a few weeks. While they are anxious to get back to work, many say they want to ensure they can offer services safely.

Gov. Phil Murphy gave salon and barbershop business owners some hope Thursday, now knowing they'll be able to open in weeks instead of months.

But not everyone is rushing to reopen in the middle of a pandemic.

"It's actually crazy to think it's been almost two months. We closed our doors March 14, a few days before the state-mandated shutdown," Verde Salon owner Kevin Gatto said.

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Self-care has been a struggle for many during the coronavirus pandemic. Barbershops, salons and even gyms have been closed due to New Jersey's stay-at-home order.

"As far as reopening, we are switching our systems to move toward a contactless check-in and checkout process. So everything will be done virtual," Gatto said.

Gatto owns Verde Salon in Collingswood. He says when the time comes, Verde Salon will reopen softly. Stylists will wear face shield and masks, and clients will also be required to wear a mask.

"My stylists are so excited that they're energized enough to go out and do the landscaping in front of the salon to make it look pretty for people walking by. They are ready, they want to get back to work," Gatto said.

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Many self-care businesses are ready to get back to work, but one salon owner in Burlington says she will take her time reopening.

"I really do understand the people that need to go back to work. I am one of those people, I need to go back to work. But just for me, I'm not sure if I could risk it at this moment," said Phyllis Jackson, owner of Clique Salon and Spa.

Jackson says most of her clients are at risk for developing major complications associated with COVID-19.

"We have to put safety first. Money should be second," Jackson said.

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The Burlington salon owner says she knows many people don't have the option to not reopen but says she understands her colleagues' decision.

"For the people that do need to go back to work, and they feel OK with that, then I pray for them," Jackson said.

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