A barbershop in Alabama plans to reopen for business on Friday, despite the state’s governor issuing a stay-at-home order through April 30 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Male Room, located in the city of Birmingham, announced the news in Facebook Tuesday, saying they faced financial ruin if they continued to keep their doors closed.
‘Workers and businesses must have income to survive,’ owner Scott Far wrote, stating that his shop has now been closed for more than a month.
‘While we are extremely sensitive to the serious implications of the virus, we are none the less faced with an equally serious dilemma regarding the future viability of our business.’
‘Granted, we are not designated, according to the state of Alabama as ‘essential,’ but the income in which we have been deprived through governmental mandate is essential to our staff and their families,’ Farr explained.
The Male Room plans to reopen for business on Friday, despite the state’s governor issuing a stay-at-home order until April 30 due to the coronavirus outbreak
The business stressed that none of their employees are being forced to come to work, and that there will be no consequences for barbers who choose to stay home.
The Male Room have also promised to implement a number of safety measures in order to protect staff and customers alike.
Barbers will be spaced out inside the shop and will wear protective face shields.
Customers will be required to wait in their cars until a text message is sent alerting them of an availability inside.
Additionally, all payments must be made with credit cards as cash will not be handled on the premises.
However, the announcement split social media users right down the middle.
Barbers will be spaced out inside the shop and will wear protective face shields while cutting customers’ hair
One outraged Facebook follower wrote: ‘Tell that to all the people who have lost their loved ones. 27,866 people in the US and over 600,000 world wide. That doesn’t include the people that died that weren’t tested. The US has more deaths than any other country.’
Another Alabama local blasted: ‘So every hair stylist/ barber is out of work right now, But Only y’all are important and need to work ? Y’all are more important than the people dying right now?’
However, many applauded The Male Room for their decision to flout the social distancing orders.
‘As a stylist I applaud you, and hope to see others places follow your lead. The virus will hurt (a very small percentage of us) for a few months but the economic effects will be felt for years by most all of us if we don’t open our economy back up,’ one wrote.
‘This will be the first place I go for a haircut when the dust settles. I understand all the concerns shown here and the possible legal battle you’ll face, but I applaud you for taking extreme measures to provide for your employees. This is our America!’ another proclaimed.
Owner Scott Farr (pictured) wrote on Facebook: While we are extremely sensitive to the serious implications of the virus, we are none the less faced with an equally serious dilemma regarding the future viability of our business’.
Meanwhile, others wondered how the business would be able to brazenly open their doors without being fined.
Alabamans who willfully flout the statewide stay-at-home order face fines of up to $500 per violation.
The Male Room’s announcement comes as Alabama Governor Kay Ivey urged residents to continue staying at home amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
‘All indicators suggest that it [social distancing] is working, and I cannot overemphasize enough the importance of it – and in fact, it is imperative that we keep doing what we are doing,’ she stated in a press conference Tuesday.
‘Now is not the time to let our guard down and pretend that things are back to normal.’
As of Thursday afternoon, there are more than 4,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alabama. 133 people have died from the contagious virus.
The Male Room’s owner Scott Farr announced plans to reopen on Friday , polarizing social media users