Governor McMaster closes some non-essential businesses in SC


Columbia, SC (WSPA) – Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order to close some non-essential businesses for more than two weeks.

Starting April 1 at 5 p.m., non-essential businesses, such as barber shops and movie theaters, will close for 15 days.

At a time when information is quickly evolving, the governor continues to update executive orders hoping to keep people safe and to reduce the number exposed to the Covid-19.

“We must do everything we can to stop the spread, be as aggressive as we can be using the facts, the science, the data, knowledge and recommendations of the experts in the field, but at the same time not going too far destroying businesses and jobs that people are depending on,” Governor Henry McMaster said.

Essential businesses, including grocery stores and daycare centers will remain open. Governor McMaster said they are needed for those who are still working.

Other businesses will have to close.

“Entertainment venues that temporarily closed starting April 1 are as follows: nightclubs, bowling alleys, arcades, concert venues, theaters, auditoriums, art centers and tourist attractions,” McMaster said.

That list also includes, but is not limited to barber shops, hair, nail and tanning salons, massage services and tattoo shops.

The order does not include take out service from local restaurants.

Healthcare leaders said these restrictions are necessary.

“We have to focus on those who are at highest risk of exposure or complications and assure that we put all measures in place to protect them,” DHEC State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said.

While state school officials continue to roll out lesson plans and future projections, they also remain hopeful.

“We take this in steps. I’m praying for a miracle. Maybe a miracle will happen and we will not have to close schools any longer but certainly the end of April. Mid April we’ll look at the situation and make that decision then,” State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said.

If a business has a question on whether or not they qualify as non-essential, they can contact the South Carolina Department of Commerce by calling (803) 734-2873 or emailing

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