Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no excuse to not have a fresh haircut come Monday morning formation, just be sure to practice that social distancing while waiting to get that high-and-tight cut.
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the U.S., the Corps has taken a number of precautions to slow the spread to include closing and restricting a number of amenities from gyms, restaurants, movie theaters and other entertainment services.
But still rolling strong across a number of major Marine Corps bases from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and Quantico, Virginia, to Marine Corps Base Hawaii, are installation barbershops.
The Navy ordered its barbershops closed Monday across its exchanges with the exception of Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Illinois, to help slow the spread of COVID-19, according to a Navy release.
Barbershops across a number of Marine bases remain open despite several states ordering closures of barbershops impacted by COVID-19.
On Monday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordered the closure of barbershops across the state effective 11:59 pm on Tuesday, March 24. However, the Marine base aboard Quantico, Virginia, has decided to keep its barbershops open anyway.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, ordered the closure of salons and barbershops effective 5 pm Wednesday.
Barbershops across North Carolina Marine bases remain open. However a Marine official told Marine Corps Times that an assessment of the bases’ barbershops and status are ongoing and a decision could be forthcoming from higher headquarters following the North Carolina governor’s decision to close barbershops across the state.
But the barbershops aboard Marine bases in North Carolina are implementing social distancing guidelines and various protections measures, the official said.
Moreover, the Corps has yet to institute any force-wide relaxed grooming standards to limit the spread of the virus.
The Navy recently gave commanding officers the authority to relax hair length standards for sailors to stem the tide of the spread.
Barbershops across West Coast installations also remain open, but “will adapt to the conditions, dependent on the location and measures established by the installation commander,” Capt. David Mancilla, a spokesman for Marine Corps Installations West told Marine Corps Times in an emailed statement.
Marine Corps Times reached out to a number of barber shops across the Camp Lejeune area to inquire about hours of operation and any potential restrictions. Several appear to be running normal operating hours but have occupancy limits.
Quantico also says its implementing a number of safety precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“Quantico has instituted various measures in our barbershops including cleaning all equipment in between each customer, limiting number of personnel within the facility, and maintaining proper separation of personnel,” Marine Capt. Allison Burgos, a spokeswoman for Quantico, told Marine Corps Times in an emailed statement.
Installations across the West Coast have also instituted stringent polices to protect patrons.
“Installations have instituted various measures based on local conditions such as, deep cleaning procedures several times per day, limiting access to active duty only, limiting number of personnel within the facility, maintaining separation of personnel, and cancelling all group activities,” Mancilla said.
Marine Corps Base Hawaii has also set occupancy limits for their barber shops. The K-Bay barber shop appears only open to active duty personnel. The Camp Smith barber has a set occupancy limit. Marine Corps Times was not able to confirm the occupancy limits aboard the Hawaii installation.
Marines can check here and call ahead to get details on any barber shop restrictions aboard the Marine Hawaii base.
Movie theaters aboard Pendleton, Lejeune and Hawaii are closed. Restaurants and fast food joints have largely been restricted to carry-out and mobile orders. Marines can check the status of MCCS restaurants and eateries by checking their local base MCCS listings. You can find the listings for Pendleton, Lejeune and Hawaii here.
There’s not a lot of entertainment left across Marine bases as a result of the virus, but be sure to grab that barbershop ticket and wait in line for your haircut because fear of COVID-19 is an excuse unlikely to appease your unit first sergeant.
Here is a list of operating hours for barbershops across Camp Pendleton.
“The Installation Commander will continue to assess risk based on local conditions and adjust operating statuses appropriately to ensure the safety of our Marines and families and keep our Marines healthy and ready," Burgos said about Quantico barbershops.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.