Barbershops and hair salons can now operate outdoors across California

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(IFA Teched/Flickr)

Gov. Newsom’s updated directive on monday address the questions around

Devin Herenda, Contributor

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new guidelines allow hair salons, barbershops and personal care services to open outdoors in L.A. County.

The new guidelines include employee and customer symptom checks, face covering requirements, and a mandatory physical distance of at least six feet between workers and customers — aside from when employees are providing services. The guidelines will be applied throughout the 33 counties on the state’s monitoring list.  

The update comes after some confusion. On Wednesday, statewide regulations were lifted, allowing barbershops and hair salons to reopen outdoors. However, the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology ordered services to close in counties that were under the statewide 3+ day monitoring, including L.A. County. 

This contradiction was cleared up in yesterday’s press conference as the new guidelines allow for hair and other personal care services to open outdoors, regardless of the county. Newsom said state protocols have been updated to prioritize health and safety measures for both workers and clients of personal care services.

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

California saw a total number of 6,846 positive COVID-19 cases on Sunday, compared to the 7-day average of 8,911, according to Newsom. He cited an increase in the 7-day average of positive cases in California as the reasoning behind evolving regulations. 

California has seen a steady rise in confirmed cases since mid-March. The state saw 6,846 new cases on Sunday. (Courtesy of CA.gov)

Newsom emphasized that individual compliance with hair salon and barbershop guidelines will be paramount for progress moving forward. According to the guidelines, a face covering should be made available to visitors who arrive without them.

Employees who have been instructed to not wear a face covering by their medical provider should wear a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge — to be in compliance with state directives — as long as their condition permits it. According to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, a drape that is form-fitting under the chin and masks with one-way valves should not be used. 

Newsom continued to encourage physical distancing, not mixing with cohorts outside of households, and wearing face coverings at all times that cover the nose and mouth except while eating or drinking. 

“It’s our decisions, not conditions, that determine fate and future,” Newsom said. “We can shape the future by our specific decisions … This script has not been written. We have the ability to write it.”