Salon workers, barbers ask to be allowed to open indoors

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SAN DIEGO — Dozens of salon workers and barbers rallied outside the San Diego County Administration Building Monday asking for permission to serve their clients indoors.

The demonstrators said they can’t provide many of their services outside, so they are struggling to make enough money to keep their businesses open because of the county’s COVID-19 restrictions preventing them from operating indoors.

“Businesses are closing every single day. Businesses that have been around for 20 years, 30 years, are closing,” hairdresser Zoie Rose said. “There are some people who have been able to move their business outside, but with all of the other agencies that we are upheld to as far as sanitation and disinfection at state board, we’re not permitted to even do all of our services outside, so a lot of us are operating, if we can even get the permits, to operate at 70% below of our normal income.”

The demonstrators said there have been no COVID-19 cases or outbreaks connected to the salon business. They said they are very careful about sanitation.

“In the state of California, to be a cosmetologist it takes 1,600 hours to get licensed in cosmetology, and in barbering it’s 1,500 hours,” Rose said. “The majority of that is in health and sanitation.”

The demonstrators said they were rallying to raise awareness about the difficulties their industry is facing in the hope that they can muster public support to save their jobs and businesses.

The protesters said they respect the County’s health orders, but they believe they are based on inaccurate information about their industry’s ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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