Smocks & Clips / April 2020

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April 2020       


Essential Workers May Obtain Barbering and Cosmetology Services

On April 20, 2020, The Governor's Office of Legal Counsel released interpretive guidance allowing certain essential personnel to obtain professional grooming services as required by their job profiles. Although shops must remain closed to the public, first responders, military personnel and others may obtain one-on-one services by appointment only.

Walk-in services are still prohibited in Maryland, and only one customer at a time is permitted to be in an establishment. Also, the customer must obtain a letter from his or her employer outlining its required grooming standards and wear a face covering while receiving services. The salon or barbershop must appropriately clean and disinfect the area and maintain proper documentation of the visit.

Questions and Answers for Licensees

Q: Can I provide cosmetology or barbering services as a "mobile service" or "house call"?

A: No, please be advised that in addition to the criminal penalties under the governor's Executive Order, there are potential Department of Labor violations that could subject you to administrative fines and sanctions by doing so. Please keep yourself and others safe.

Q: I received a temporary shop license and it is expired now. What should I do?

A: None of our inspectors are currently in the field in response to COVID-19. We want to ensure that you and your staff are staying safe. Please do not worry about your temporary license being expired; you are still on our inspection schedule and will be inspected once the Governor lifts the Executive Order.

Q: Can I attend a solely online school?

A: There are currently no online schools approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). All private career schools approved by the MHEC can be found online.

Governor Hogan Extends License Expiration Dates

In one of Governor Larry Hogan’s earliest Executive Orders about the COVID-19 crisis, all license expiration dates were pushed to 30 days after the state of emergency has been lifted. We have temporarily extended them to June 1, 2020. Visit your board’s home page and click on the red “renew your license” button to get started. You are encouraged to continue taking your continuing education courses, renewing your license online, and performing all other activities that are required for your license to the extent that you are able.

Links to board home pages:



Essential Businesses and Following the Stay At Home Order

Governor Larry Hogan ordered all non-essential businesses in Maryland to close by 5 p.m. on March 23, 2020. Read the Stay At Home Directive online. As part of that Order, certain businesses were allowed to remain open if they provide essential services to citizens.

Please note that employees of the Department of Labor are not permitted to interpret the Order on behalf of the governor’s office. Our department has received numerous calls from business owners asking if they are considered “essential services” or not. We understand that it is frustrating not to be certain, but we must refer you to the guidance published by The Governor's Office of Legal Counsel to make that determination. Further guidance was released later. Another help with guidance on the Order was issued after that.

If, after reading the Order and its interpretive guidance, you are still unsure whether or not your business is permitted to operate, there are additional resources to help with clarification. Take the following steps to help make your determination:

See the federal guidelines on critical infrastructure sectors in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s CISA website. Their interpretive guidance and FAQs appear on the home page.

Then, make a good faith effort to act in the spirit of the Order based on:

  1. the Order’s purpose, which is to “reduce the threat to human health caused by the transmission of the novel coronavirus in Maryland, and to protect and save lives”; and
  2. how similar businesses, organizations, and facilities are treated under the Order.

If your business decides to remain open, you must adhere to all applicable guidance from the CDC, MDH, and OSHA regarding social-distancing and environmental cleaning and disinfection. See information on healthy protocols such as social distancing and effective cleaning and disinfection. You can find more guidance from the CDC.

For additional information, including health protocols, financial assistance, unemployment insurance, and more, check the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Businesses webpage for the latest information and guidance. It includes an FAQ that will also be updated regularly.

Finally, the governor’s office has posted a helpful A-Z Resource Guide. It contains guidelines on most everything in our daily lives that have been affected by the state’s evolving COVID-19 response. The information is easy to read and is presented in a glossary-style format.

Contact Us

The offices of the Maryland Boards of Barbers and Cosmetologists currently have limited access to the public. Please be patient with us, as it may take longer than usual to respond to voicemails and e-mails. E-mails are preferable to phone calls at this time. We can be reached using our contact pages for telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of individual staff members, or you may send your concerns to our general e-mail address and your message will be routed to the appropriate person.

Links to contact pages: