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Need a trim? Newsom allows haircuts, salon services to resume outdoors amid coronavirus

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Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that hair salons and barbershops could offer services outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement provides relief to salons that closed in March under the stay-at-home order, were allowed to reopen in May and then closed again on July 13 when the governor shut down indoor businesses in counties on the state’s monitoring list.

In new guidance issued Monday, after conflicting messages from government entities last week, the state clarified that salons could operate outdoors.

“It was our intention to provide for barbershops and the like to be able to do their work outdoors,” Newsom said. “It turned out that was more challenging than it may have appeared.”

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Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach), who has been advocating for executive action, wrote about the state’s contradictory rules on outdoor hair salons and barbershop services in a letter to Newsom last week.

Petrie-Norris said the California Department of Public Health’s July 13 guidance allowed salons to operate outdoors. But the Board of Barbering & Cosmetology said all barbering and cosmetology services “within the specified counties must close immediately and not offer any services,” including outdoor services.

“As a result, all barbershops and hair salons would need to shut down and not offer any outdoor services,” Petrie-Norris wrote in the letter to the governor.

The new guidance says outdoor services are permitted if patrons and stylists wear masks and meet other safety requirements. The allowed outdoor services include skin care, cosmetology, nail services, and massage therapy. Electrology, tattooing and piercing services are not allowed indoors or outdoors at this point in counties on the monitoring list.

The decision comes as California grapples with a 15.7% increase in hospitalizations and nearly 120,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks. The latest numbers show California has 389,230 total cases and 7,720 deaths.

Newsom announced Friday that most public and private schools in California would not reopen at the start of the school year under a new ban on classroom instruction in counties experiencing elevated disease transmission, increased hospitalizations or limited hospital capacity.

Under the rules, counties must conduct distance learning if they are on the state’s monitoring list. Schools can only begin in-person classes if they have remained off the list for 14 consecutive days.

Newsom said 33 counties, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside and Santa Clara, were on the list as of Monday. The counties are home to more than 35.5 million Californians.


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