Salons are next in line to reopen in California.
As most retail in the state begins to come back amid the coronavirus, although only allowed to operate through curbside pickup, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that salons, including hair, nails and barbershops for men, can expect their own industry-specific guidelines for reopening next week. So long as businesses meet the yet-to-be-released guidelines, they will be able to begin serving customers again.
The guidelines will be given as directives to counties within the state, which are being allowed to set their own pace for reopening businesses, so long as certain levels of preparedness are met and certified by the state. Those include things like adequate testing for residents, hospital capacity and at least two weeks of data showing hospitalizations and deaths over COVID-19 are declining.
Today, Newsom said his office is estimating that 53 of California’s 58 counties are likely to meet the criteria for reopening.
At the state level, Newsom said the reopening of salons is now in the time frame of “a few weeks.” Only two weeks ago, the governor alluded to salons being farther off in the opening process, considering the need for very close contact for people to give and receive such services as a haircut. Salons were categorized as part of Phase Three in Newsom’s four-phase plan for reopening the state, which has been largely shut down since mid-March.
“As we move into this phase, the notion of responsibility is foundational,” Newsom said. “Individual responsibility to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community; business responsibility to protect employees and customers. And at the same time, responsibility for all of us at the government level to support businesses, to make sure they have the support they deserve.
“All of us have to do more to move through this crisis,” he added.
Although Newsom did not elaborate for long on the opening of salons, if it happens by next week, it would be a signal that the state is moving faster than expected on reopening. The shutdown has severely impacted California’s economy, leaving the state with a budget deficit of $54 billion, when in February the state had its biggest surplus ever of $21 billion. Last week, Newsom formally asked the federal government for $1 trillion in aid for his state, as well as for the states of Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Nevada.
Los Angeles is likely one of the few counties that will not be moving toward a fuller reopening of salons in the next few weeks. Last week, county officials said they were planning to keep the current lockdown order, telling people to stay home whenever possible, in place through July. Then, L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti said there is no specific date for when the lockdown will be lifted in the city and directed everyone in L.A. to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth whenever they venture outside. Most people have not been following that guidance.
Retailers in the city are being allowed to operate with curbside pickup, as restaurants continue to do the same. But L.A. is taking a very cautious approach. City health officials reported 69 coronavirus-related deaths over the weekend, and nearly 1,800 new cases of the virus.
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