Hundreds of salons and barbershops across the state are vowing to reopen indoors on Aug. 17, KTLA sister station KTXL in Sacramento reported Sunday.
Currently, they are only allowed to operate outdoors if their county is not on the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list. But with most counties on the watch list, some owners say that’s not a realistic solution.
“(Governor Newsom) only granted dry hair cuts outdoors. The majority of our clientele, I would say about 95%, are color clients,” Salon W owner Wendy Diaz told KTXL. “So, if we can’t do color, we can’t work.”
It’s one of the reasons why Diaz is joining a new movement called Open Safe California.
The group of hairstylists and barbers connected over Facebook and Instagram with more than 3,000 members vowing to start serving clients indoors.
It’s a move that would go against state orders if those businesses are in counties on the monitoring list.
“We are probably the cleanest business in California, and we have been targeted for months now. And we have no explanation as to why,” Diaz said. “So, we’re just going to open.”
She acknowledges the dangers of COVID-19, but says her business will do everything in its power to prevent transmission.
Stylists and clients will be required to wear masks, sanitize frequently and do temperature checks.
She says it worked the five weeks she was allowed to open, where they served more than 700 clients; none reported having the virus.
But the decision to reopen could come with ramifications.
In the past, the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology has said stylists that go against state guidance could face fines or other disciplinary actions against their licenses.
It’s a risk that Salon 6 Central in Stockton is willing to take.
“You can threaten to fine us, OK. But at least I’ll have the money to pay the fine because I’ll be working,” said stylist Sheri Reinhard. “I have two children and a whole household I need to support.”
Salon owners and stylists are planning to rally at the State Capitol on Tuesday, calling for a full reopening.