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Need a Haircut? Barbershops and Hair Salons Get OK to Reopen in Fresno, Other Counties

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Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that barbershops and hair salons can reopen immediately in counties, including Fresno, that have been cleared to move faster on lifting coronavirus restrictions.

The governor’s announcement is part of an ongoing relaxation of orders intended to help prevent spread of COVID-19.

Face Masks Required for Workers, Customers

The state’s guidance says customers and workers in barbershops and salons must wear face coverings during hair-cutting and other close-contact services.

Fresno, Kings, Madera, Merced, and Kern counties are among the regions in California that have been granted variances to state orders that allow them to move faster on reopening their economies.

In expanding reopening to barbershops and hair salons, Newsom cited the extent of testing capability and stability in the rate of positive cases.

Governor Says Pandemic Far from Over

But after a long holiday weekend that saw many people out and about, the governor urged a sober recognition that the pandemic is not over and to continue measures such as social distancing and covering faces.

“We still have a long way of going to get where we need to be, which is immunity and a vaccine,” he said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

Why Newsom Reopened Hair Salons

Newsom said he felt confident moving forward because the state is testing more than 60,000 people a day, procured massive amounts of protective equipment for workers and plans to deploy 5% of the state’s workforce as contact tracers who can track the spread of the virus from infected people. He said the state anticipates an increase in the number of cases.

“That’s inevitable, but that’s not in and of itself an alarm bell,” he said.

The new rules for hair salons don’t extend to all beauty services. Nail salons still aren’t cleared to open, and hair salons shouldn’t perform services such as eyebrow waxing or facials that require a worker to touch a customer’s face.

Why not Nail Salons, Too?

Fred Jones, legal counsel for Professional Beauty Federation of California, said it made no sense to exclude nail salons from reopening when barbershops and hair salons are gaining approval. He said the state’s license for operating a hair, skin, or nail salon establishment comes in one packaged license.

“There’s vagueness in the very act of saying hair salons and barbershops can reopen without also including skin and nail. So what happens if you own a shop that does all three areas?” Jones said.

The state’s guidelines call for customers to be screened for virus symptoms and for employees and patrons to use face coverings during hair cuts and other services. The state suggests workers use goggles or face shields as a further precaution.

Get Rid of the Old Magazines

Hair salons and barbershops will also need to get rid of magazines and offerings such as water and coffee for customers. Reception areas must have hand sanitizer and enough space for social distancing. Workstations and stools are to be disinfected between each customer.