By Maria Medina

BURLINGAME (KPIX) — Business owners on Monday opened their doors for the first time in weeks — in some cases months — under the state’s new tiered system.

San Mateo County, currently in the purple tier, learned last week that barber shops and nail and hair salons would be allowed to reopen but with modifications.

“I was so excited,” said Burlingame hair salon owner Jeff Silverman. “The fact, that we can work in the salon.”

San Mateo County made the state’s now retired watch list several weeks ago, which shut down indoor operations again in August.

The county was the last Bay Area county to make the watch list. Hair and nail salons, gyms and barbershops were open for about a month.

“We’re really going to continue exactly the way we left off before,” Silverman said. “It was working brilliantly and then we had to close down.”

“I think, three weeks into it, we definitely hit our stride and it felt like the new norm was kind of coming into the fold,” said Travis Sweeney.

Sweeney owns The San Mateo Zoo, a barber shop on El Camino Real in San Mateo. He said it was “devastating” to shut down.

“Trying to provide for your families and make sure that the business is afloat for these guys and their families is stressful,” he said.

He said it will be “tricky” to figure out if his business can survive moving forward.

Silverman said he would do anything to keep his doors open, including working 16 hours a day, six days a week.

“The next few weeks are going to be fine,” Silverman said. “It’s absolutely better than nothing so we put in longer days, longer hours, we really don’t mind. You know, we had a three- four-month break.”

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