woman picking up curbside takeout
From thrift stores to fitness centers, these businesses across the U.S. are implementing plans to ensure the safety of their customers and employees following COVID-19. — Getty Images/halbergman

With many states allowing businesses to reopen while COVID-19 concerns continue, companies are implementing various strategies to reopen safely. After spending time preparing for safe reopenings, they have made changes including stepping up sanitation, requiring mask-wearing, adding contactless interactions, taking temperatures and more.

Here are seven ways companies both large and small have recently talked to customers about reopening and changes they’re making to help keep people safe.


Apple, one of the world’s largest companies, closed most of its retail locations at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the company is reopening more than 100 stores in the U.S. to serve customers in person again but with changes to keep people safe. Apple said in an announcement that most locations will have temperature checks at the door, limited occupancy rules and enhanced cleaning protocols focused on “surfaces, display products, and highly trafficked areas.” Additionally, the company said both customers and workers will need to wear face coverings and customers will be provided with masks if they don’t have them.

CycleBar Beachwood

Gyms that are reopening have naturally been scrutinized due to it being difficult to socially distance in some fitness centers. CycleBar Beachwood, an indoor cycling studio in the Cleveland suburbs, has communicated many changes to address safety and cleanliness for customers as it reopens. The gym has cut bikes in its theater from 50 to 22, moved front desk check-ins to its mobile app, and installed three high-end air filtration units that use UV light to clean air particles. It also eliminated complimentary fresh fruit and toiletries that could transmit germs.

Goodwill of the Heartland

Many thrift stores have been closed temporarily during the coronavirus pandemic, but Goodwill of the Heartland recently announced reopening plans for its three locations in Illinois. The organization said it would open in two phases — first with only donation acceptance and second with regular store shopping. To keep customers and workers safe, locations will also adopt changes such as no-contact donation drop-offs, quarantining all donations for 72 hours before processing them for the sales floor, requiring face masks for shoppers and workers, closing of dressing rooms, installation of new plexiglass barriers at cash registers and more.

Gyms that are reopening have naturally been scrutinized due to it being difficult to socially distance in some fitness centers.

Houston Zoo

As a home to more than 6,000 animals, the Houston Zooattracts an average of over 2 million visitors a year. With the zoo being so popular, it has had to retool its experience to keep customers safe during coronavirus. It has announced detailed policies such as requiring online reservations, limiting attendance, adding contactless transactions and creating a one-way path for families to follow. Masks will be required for all zoo staff but guests are only “highly encouraged” to wear them.

McSorley’s Old Ale House

One of New York City’s oldest drinking establishments, McSorley’s Old Ale House, recently reopened after “closing for the longest period in our 166-year history,” the bar wrote on social media. The bar said it wanted to “bring some commercial and social life back to our storied, East 7th Street block.” McSorley’s now offers customers food and drinks to go, but with some notable changes including new hand sanitizer dispensers, employees wearing masks, and half- and full-gallon growlers of beer to go.

St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery

Wineries around the country have been hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions, so reopening is an exciting prospect for companies like St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery in Napa Valley, California. CEO Emma Swain told CNBC that tastings will be socially distanced, masks will be required, and wine will be poured in disposable glasses. “Almost all of our tastings will be taking place outside,” Swain said. “But, you’re going to be spaced further apart, we’re going to ask you to wear a mask when you’re not tasting, we’re going to have our team wearing masks, and so it’s a little harder to be as friendly as we want to be.”

Thorps Haircuts & Color

Thorps Haircuts & Color, a popular independent hair salon in Madison, Wisconsin, announced it would soon reopen with measures “above and beyond the minimum requirements” of its county to keep customers and stylists safe. The company said it would allow “no more than five stylists” on the salon floor at one time, only accept contactless payments, have clients check themselves in via a mobile app and require both customers and workers to wear masks. “We decided as a group that we're all going to wear masks when we're in the shop working, and our clients are going to wear masks, and that's just how it's going to be,” Thorps owner Liz Glynn told The Capital Times.

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