By Kristina Rex

DANVERS (CBS) – Governor Baker is set to announce a date that Phase Two businesses can reopen in a press conference Saturday afternoon. Phase Two includes restaurants and retail shops, with specific guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Bridal stores tell WBZ those guidelines make it impossible to open their doors.

According to an email from a state employee to a bridal store owner, “For now, fitting rooms in retail stores (including bridal salons) should remain closed so that multiple people aren’t trying on the same garment.”

But Bella Sera Bridal owner Lisa Almeida says it doesn’t make sense, given hair salon and restaurant re-openings.

Bella Sera Bridal (WBZ-TV)

“We were really excited about being able to open our doors again,” she told WBZ. But when she heard the specific rules for retail stores, she said “it was just dead in the water for us.”

Bridal boutiques rely on appointments for brides to try on dresses. Without that, Almeida fears her potential customers are going to other states for bridal services. “New Hampshire is open,” she said. “That’s a half an hour from us. They’ll be up there shopping.”

She says when the COVID-19 stay at home advisory began, she texted her mother. “This could be the nail in the coffin for our business,” she said.

On top of the financial struggles, Almeida is dealing daily with brides who have canceled or postponed their big day. “When you think about the fact these girls have been dreaming of this day their entire lives,” she explained. “Every single story I’ve heard is different and it every time it breaks my heart a little bit.”

She and other bridal salons have reached out to the governor’s office asking him to reconsider the changing room policy. If Bella Sera stays closed any longer, Almeida fears they won’t survive the shut down. “This is our livelihood,” she said. “I started this store with my best friend 15 years ago. We put our heart and soul into this. It’s our baby.”

Kristina Rex

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