Starting Monday, some businesses in the region will be allowed to reopen under the state’s new color-coded tier system, meaning Contra Costa County hair salons and barbershops can finally offer indoor services.
This comes as welcome news for Tamrah Derrick, co-owner of the mane gallery in Concord.
“We were a little bit confused about the information and where to go,” Derrick said. “We figured it out and we knew we were back in business.”
The salon spent the weekend getting ready with extra cleaning supplies, dividers and signs.
But in Alameda County, salons are only allowed to operate outdoors.
Rudy Ramirez, owner of a Fremont salon, is testing out his pop-up tents, putting out cones and reading through 10 pages of health guidelines as he prepares to reopen Tuesday.
Ramirez has not been able to cut hair since mid-March. While he’s excited to finally get back to work, he’s not thrilled that Alameda County still requires him to cut hair outside, even after the governor announced a new tiered reopening system that would have allowed it.
“We’re on display like zoo animals, but we have to do what they tell us to do in order to feed our families,” Ramirez said.
He questions how he will be able to compete with salons in nearby Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, where they will be able to style hair inside.
“We all need to be treated equally,” he said.
Sue Yorks of Union City agrees.
“I think if the other counties are open then I don’t see why Alameda County can’t do the same,” she said. “If you wear a mask I just don’t see what the harm would be.”
Restrictions are easing for other businesses in Alameda County. Starting Monday, indoor malls can reopen at 25% capacity.
But that doesn’t help Ramirez, who is trying to make up for six months of lost earnings.
“It’s very difficult to stay afloat,” he said. “I’ve gone through my life savings and no one seems to care.”