Many of California’s counties, excluding Los Angeles, are now allowed to reopen barbershops and hair salons — with major modifications, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday.

The eased restrictions apply to 47 of California’s 58 counties that have provided attestations that they meet criteria for a faster reopening — and have been given the green light by the state. They include Orange, Riverside, Ventura, San Bernardino and Santa Barbara counties.

Densely-populated Los Angeles County, which remains the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in California, is not included in the list.

“Some parts of the state will not be able to pace as quickly into Phase 3, and we continue to be responsive to those concerns and the needs of those local communities to slow down the pace of reopening, and we respect that,” Newsom said at a news conference.

The state released guidelines for barbershops and hair salons to protect from the spread of the coronavirus in counties where the businesses are allowed to reopen. Protocols for disinfecting surfaces and physical distancing guidelines are included.

Salons that reopen may only provide services that allow for both the worker and customer to wear face coverings for the entirety of the service, officials said.

This means that haircuts, weaves and extensions, braiding, lock and wig maintenance, hair relaxing treatments and color services can be provided. But services like eyebrow waxing and threading, facials and eyelash services are still not allowed since they involve touching the customer’s face, according to the state’s guidance.

The businesses will have to provide protective gear to their employees and train them on COVID-19 prevention plans, making sure they remain in compliance and adhere to the state’s guidelines. “Failure to do so could result in workplace illnesses that may cause operations to be temporarily closed or limited,” officials said.

All workers and customers will have to be screened for high temperatures and other COVID-19 symptoms when they come in, according to the state’s guidelines. Officials said customers that show signs of illness should have their appointments canceled or rescheduled.

State officials suggested that the businesses book fewer clients each day and stagger appointments to reduce crowding, as well as make sure there’s enough time for cleaning.

“Hair salon or barbershop owners or operators must acknowledge that lessees should only resume operations when they are ready and able to implement the necessary safety measures to provide
for their safety and that of their customers,” state officials said.


By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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