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A look inside St. Louis area restaurants, salons and stores as they reopen

Reopening doesn't mean a return to the way things were

ST. LOUIS — Some businesses in St. Louis and St. Louis County welcomed customers back inside their stores for the first time in nearly two months Monday.

The city and county eased up on restrictions that were put in place on March 20 to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. With the curve flattening and key data trends decreasing, local leaders announced places like restaurants, bars, salons and malls could open their doors to customers again beginning Monday, May 18.

Reopening doesn't mean a return to the way things were, though.

RELATED: Masks, barriers and handwashing | St. Louis releases specifics on phase 1 of reopening plan

Diners eating in at restaurants will notice Plexiglas barriers, no more elbow-to-elbow seating at community tables, more reservation-only systems and fewer waiting areas.

The booths at Charlie Gitto's on The Hill all have see-through barriers between the booths and in front of the hostess stand.

However, many restaurants are sticking to curbside, carryout and delivery for now.

Credit: Charlie Gitto's

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The reopening of hair salons was a welcome sight for many residents in the city and county who've gone without hair cuts, colors and trims — or at-home versions — during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inside Dominic Michael Salon in Clayton, customers and employees all wore masks to protect themselves and others. Plastic barriers separated hair washing stations and several spots that would normally be used by customers were left empty to accommodate social distancing standards.

Barbershops, nail salons, tanning salons, massage therapists and body art professionals were also allowed to reopen beginning Monday. Along the same lines, pet grooming facilities could reopen as well.

Credit: UPI
A customer's hair is washed by a stylist, protected by plastic sheeting on both sides at Dominic Michael Salon, in Clayton, Missouri on Monday May 18, 2020. The salon has reopened after being closed for over two months due to the stay at home orders by Missouri Governor Mike Parson as a result of the coronavirus. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Malls also welcomed shoppers back inside. Even though the malls are open, not all stores inside have chosen to reopen.

The Footaction store at the Galleria Mall was one of the businesses that welcomed back customers Monday morning. Customers formed a line outside the store waiting for their turn to go inside.

While stores, restaurants and other businesses can reopen, there are still limits on how many people can be inside depending on the size of the building and maximum capacity.

Credit: UPI
Customers wait in line at the Footaction store at the Galleria Mall in Richmond Heights, Missouri on Monday, May 18, 2020. St. Louis area malls have reopened after being closed for over two months due to Missouri Governor Mike Parson's stay at home orders due to coronavirus. Only about 40 of the 150 stores in the mall, opened on this date. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Another sign of the St. Louis area returning to normal was the reopening of several county parks that have been closed to visitors.

At one time, all St. Louis County parks were closed by County Executive Sam Page due to the coronavirus. Several parks reopened a couple of weeks ago. The remaining 21, including Creve Coeur Lake pictured below, opened on Monday.

However, restrooms, indoor facilities, sports courts, shelters, playgrounds and skate parks all remain closed at city and county parks.

Credit: UPI
A man adjusts his parasail wing in the Creve Coeur Lake, awaiting a breeze, at Creve Coeur Park in Creve Coeur, Missouri as the park reopens on Monday, May 18, 2020. All St. Louis County parks were closed by County Executive Sam Page due to coronavirus. Several parks were reopened several weeks ago with the remaining 21 open on May 18, 2020. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

You can see more photos from inside businesses as they reopened Monday in the photo gallery below.

And as a note, for the safety of our employees and to follow social distancing standards, 5 On Your Side continues to conduct interviews and gather video in outside locations. The photos included in this story were taken by a pool photographer and used with permission.

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