Coast businesses cautiously optimistic as safety restrictions begin to ease

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 7:34 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - With the CDC giving new guidance for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19, some South Mississippi businesses have been quick to change their safety protocols. Others are being cautiously optimistic as they work to keep their customers safe and comfortable.

“We learn to adjust to it, adapt and advance,” said Destyni Tran, co-owner of Azalea Salon and Spa.

Tran joins many business owners along the coast who are keeping a close eye on the vaccination numbers before dropping any safety restrictions.

“I like to kind of keep an eye, locally as well as nationally, what our numbers are,” said Sue Nguyen-Torjusen, the owner of Le Bakery. “If there’s a way we can operate in a safe manner, we’d like to continue to do so.”

Both Azalea Spa & Salon and Le Bakery have strictly followed CDC guidelines, and now with the health agency saying vaccinated people can go without masks in most indoor settings, both shops look forward to what’s to come.

“I feel like that will definitely ease up the tension for a lot of customers,” Tran said.

After Memorial Day, the salon’s customers will no longer need face coverings. Tran says it will be recommended for people coming in but not required.

Nguyen-Torjusen said her bakery won’t turn anyone away for not wearing a mask, but they will stick with their rule of only allowing three customers inside at a time.

“To me, what’s the biggest harm in giving people a little bit of space? We can only help one customer at a time anyways,” she said.

Staff at both shops will keep their masks on for their safety and for those that walk through the door.

“I don’t know if anyone has a compromised immune system,” Nguyen-Torjusen said.

And with peak tourism months around the corner, the owners hope to capitalize on more people getting out and hopefully less rules set in place.

“I am actually really happy for my clients,” Tran said.

Until then, the shops hope people continue to follow their rules until they feel comfortable without them.

“Please respect us and support us by obliging by it,” Tran said.

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