On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that barbershops, hair and nail salons, and other similar businesses could now reopen, albeit with strict rules in place for all reopening businesses.
Under the new guidelines, all salons and barbershops will need to operate outside under a tent, canopy, or some other open air covering that has no more than one side closed. All current laws, including Cal/OSHA laws, must be followed, as well as temporary COVID-19 laws such as mandatory face masks and social distancing when not using the service.
Face touching, such as through shaving or facials, can be performed outside along with other close contact services such as massages. However, tattooing, piercing and other similar services will not be allowed outside due to a hygienic, controlled environment being needed.
Outdoor service will only be required in counties who have been on the state COVID-19 watchlist for more than 3 days.
Newsom noted that he had wanted to allow salons and barbershops to remain open after the lockdown was announced earlier this month with new rules in place, but he couldn’t because many local ordinances had issues with certain chemicals and materials.
“The good news is we now have new guidelines out on the COVID-19.ca.gov website clarifying what we can and can’t do as it relates to hair cuts and activities that we want to move from indoors to outdoors for personal care services industry,” announced the Governor on Monday.
“It turned out, without getting into too many details, that issues of chemicals and shampoos and perms were more complicated than some had considered, particularly as relates to local ordinances and rules and regulations. So we worked through that over the last couple of days. Hopefully that provides more clarity.”
However, many industry workers noted that Governor Newsom only recently made the changes after a letter from the Professional Beauty Federation of California (PBFC) asking for outside service reached him. The PBFC had forced the Governor to reopen earlier this year in May to reopen following being left out of earlier reopening plans, one day before a lawsuit over being left out was about to be active.
“This isn’t the first time he snubbed all of us,” said Oakland beautician Chantelle Wood-Taylor in an interview with the California Globe. “We understand we have to get close to clients, but we’re being safe. Take safety out of the equation and all he really is doing is punishing our business for no reason.”
“We’ve fought to stay open before, and as we’ve showed this weekend, we’ll continue to do so.”
Other reopening announcements in the near future are not expected from the Governor, although that may change in the coming weeks with more businesses facing permanent closure.
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