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The 'new normal' for getting a haircut in San Diego County

Hair stylists and barbers can resume haircuts in San Diego County this week if they adhere to safety guidelines.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego County immediately allowed barbershops and hair salons to reopen Tuesday if they adhere to newly announced, modified reopening guidelines.

Governor Newsom deferred the final decision to reopen hair cutting businesses to counties that submitted attestation plans and had them approved by the California Department of Public Health. San Diego’s was approved late last week, which allowed restaurants to reopen for modified dine-in service.

CALIFORNIA CHANGES: Governor Newsom says counties can decide whether to reopen hair salons with safety modifications

The new rules allow salons and barbershops to reopen to cut hair only. Everyone inside is required to wear a mask or face covering, which prohibits businesses from offering shaves or eyebrow treatments.

Other customers must wait outside before receiving a haircut. Businesses are encouraged to accept reservations or maintain a virtual wait list to help maintain social distancing. They must also complete a “Safe Reopening Plan,” then share it with employees and post it for customers.

Credit: San Diego County

“Even though what we are able to get out and do is changing, the danger from coronavirus remains and so that is, again, adapting our behavior as we move forward to ensure we continue to have steady progress,” said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

High-contact jobs, such as barbers, stylists, and nail salon workers, were initially part of the state’s Stage 3 reopening. Additional steps to allow nail salons and other, high-contact businesses to reopen could follow in the coming days or weeks, but were not included in Tuesday’s announcement.

Initial state guidelines also called for counties to monitor the percentage of positive cases relative to the number of tests performed, among other metrics, before deciding whether to move into Stage 3. Currently, no county has begun Stage 3.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY: San Diego County hair salons, barbershops can open with Safe Reopening Plan

“The next 21 days are essential to maintain our progress. So, as we move to reopen, more and more businesses and activities, we must continue to be vigilant in our personal and collective efforts by the public adhering to the social distancing and facial covering orders,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer.

Last week, the county board of supervisors voted 4-1 to ask the state if it would consider allowing San Diego to open several Stage 3 businesses under a proposed “Stage 2 Plus” pilot program.

So far, the county has not received a response.

Officials warned the rules could return if the county experiences a surge in coronavirus cases. The incubation period is considered up to 14 days.

“If we see spikes and increases in our numbers, then those triggers will guide our ability to continue to move forward and, if they are severe enough in change, would guide our necessity of moving backwards,” said Fletcher. “None of us want that. We want to continue moving forward and embrace each one of these reopening phases responsibly, smartly and safely.”

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