reopening the bay area

State Issues Guidance for Salons, Barbershops to Operate Outdoors

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California on Monday issued new guidance for barbershops, hair salons and nail salons to operate outdoors amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The guidance from Gov. Gavin Newsom applies to counties that have been on the state’s monitoring list for three consecutive days. San Mateo County is the only Bay Area county not on the list. 

While the state has given the green light for these personal care businesses to serve customers outdoors, the final decision will come from each county's health officer. Bay Area counties on the state's watch list have yet to announce if they will carry out the new guidelines.

“All guidance should be implemented only with county health officer approval following their review of local epidemiological data including cases per 100,000 population, rate of test positivity, and local preparedness to support a health care surge, vulnerable populations, contact tracing, and testing,” according to the guidance.

Guidance provided to board of barbering and cosmetology licensees stipulates that a personal care business should serve customers in outdoor areas close to the establishment, such as nearby parking lots or sidewalks. The service areas "must have the same ventilation and airflow as the outdoors." They cannot be enclosed in a way that “restricts normal airflow.”

Certain barbering and cosmetology services, such as bleaching, tinting, coloring, dyeing and shampooing, are not allowed, according to the guidance.

"Chemical hair services and shampooing cannot be performed outdoors due to the inability to ensure adequate drainage and proper waste disposal," a statement in the guidance read.

As is the case at other businesses allowed to operate during the pandemic, face coverings need to be worn by clients and workers, surfaces need to be frequently cleaned and disinfected, and social distancing needs to be practiced when a service isn't being provided.

Services that require a hygienic environment, such as tattooing, electrolysis and piercing, are not allowed to be performed outdoors.

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