County could allow tattoo, massage, waxing businesses to open this week

County could allow tattoo, massage, waxing businesses to open this week

Chambers of commerce have been working with county officials

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Montgomery County might start allowing tattoo parlors, massage businesses, tanning salons and other types of personal service businesses to open this week as part of an update to the county’s second phase of reopening.

The county entered its second phase of reopening on June 19, but under the executive order, those businesses and other types of “esthetic services” are not allowed.

An email sent Monday morning from county officials to the Silver Spring, Greater Bethesda, Rockville, Gaithersburg-Germantown and Montgomery County chambers of commerce states that tanning, tattoo, massage, waxing, threading, electrolysis, cryotherapy, facial and other skin services would be allowed in the updated order.

According to the email, the updates also include:

  • A requirement that alcohol sales end at 10 p.m. for restaurants
  • Expanding the size of religious services that are allowed outdoors
  • A requirement that malls must remove tables, chairs and benches to discourage crowds from congregating
  • A reiteration of a previous order prohibiting private schools from having in-person instruction until at least Oct. 1, which the county issued on Friday

The email went on to say that it was expected that the County Council would take action on the measure on Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear, though, whether council approval is required. County Council Member Hans Riemer wrote in a text message to Bethesda Beat on Monday that he thinks the council needs to approve the measure before it can take effect.

Ginanne Italiano, the president and CEO of the Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce, told Bethesda Beat on Monday that the types of businesses outlined in the email contacted county officials starting on June 24 asking them to allow them to reopen.

Italiano said chambers from around the county have been working with the county on communicating recommended protocols for reopening. Businesses, she said, told the chambers that the protocols were according to various industry associations.

“[The businesses] worked together with the chambers and we developed recommended protocols, which we sent forward to the county executive and Dr. [Travis] Gayles,” she said.

Gayles, the county’s health officer, wasn’t comfortable with allowing the reopenings last week, Italiano said.

Italiano said the additional stage of reopening is needed for businesses that have been struggling financially during the pandemic.

“A lot of the businesses were suffering terribly, which we relayed to the county executive through [Assistant Chief Administrative Officer] Jerome Fletcher and others in his leadership. They are at the breaking point of close for ‘good, go bankrupt, deal with your home mortgage.’ All of the other types of things you’ve had to give up for your business, or stay open,” she said.

County Executive Marc Elrich could not be reached for comment Monday morning. Fletcher declined to comment to Bethesda Beat on Monday.

 Dan Schere can be reached at

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