CARLSBAD, Calif. — New restrictions on indoor businesses go in effect at midnight July 15 in an effort to stop COVID-19.
Many restaurants and retailers are moving outdoors to stay afloat but hair salons are finding out the hard way they can’t do the same.
“It is gut wrenching,” said Twig Hair Lounge owner Jennifer Lechowicz.
The hair salon owner said she reopened six weeks ago and spent $10,000 to adhere to new coronavirus safety protocols and just spent all of the PPE money they were loaned.
“It really just feels like somebody sucker punched you,” said Lechowicz.
A San Diego County spokesperson said no local COVID-19 outbreaks have been linked to hair salons or barbershops.
“We are prepared to go out there and keep serving people. We know we are not spreading it,” said Lechowicz.
She said if restaurants can serve food and Alcohol Beverage Control is allowing alcohol outdoors surly, she can make it work by doing strictly haircuts outside.
“The city has said, 'we want to give you a permit come show us some drawings of how you want everything to lay out,'” said Lechowicz.
A spokesperson for the City of Carlsbad said the county was going to allow outdoor salons but then the State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology issued a notice online and on social accounts that services must be performed inside a licensed facility, therefore cannot allow outdoor service.
A spokesperson for California Department of Consumer Affairs sent an e-mail statement:
As directed by the Governor, these personal care services must be closed. The law – in the Business and Professions Code – states that all barbering and cosmetology services must be performed IN a licensed establishment. Therefore, these types of businesses in the required counties must be closed immediately.
In addition, the Board is concerned about CalOSHA regulation and heat prevention and safety during these summer months. There are a lot of safety and sanitation concerns to consider – and we are looking deeply at this question and exploring options going forward.
Hair salons join gyms, churches, protests, non-essential offices, nail salons and tattoo parlors and malls in the recent indoor shutdown orders. Gyms and churches have also been vocal about moving outdoors.
“We are being safe we are not spreading anything we are going to be out there. We are going to do it,” said Lechowicz.
On Tuesday, County Board Supervisors Jim Desmond and Kristin Gaspar and San Marcos Mayor Jennifer Rebecca Jones, sent a letter to Governor Newsom asking to streamline outdoor permits for hair and nail salons and barbershop so they can operate outside.
“Once we get that permit we are going to set up shop on the sidewalk, boards blessing or not,” said Lechowicz.
A spokesperson for the City of Carlsbad said in general is working with businesses to try and help them move outside as much as possible with the temporary outdoor permits.