Barbershops, salons would temporarily close in state’s expected stay-at-home order

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO – Local barbershops and nail salons are bracing for the impact of another stay-at-home order that would force personal care businesses and other industries to temporarily shut down.

Ace of Fades barbershop owner Leo Barajas cuts a customer’s hair in his shop on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Local barbershops and nail salons are bracing for the impact of another stay-at-home order that would force personal care businesses and other industries to temporarily shut down.

Although allowed to operate indoors in California’s most restrictive purple tier, that would change under a new regional stay-at-home order announced Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The order, which is expected to take effect in the coming days, impacts five designated regions around the state, including Southern California.

Amid a challenging year navigating a global pandemic, the news is disheartening for businesses such as the Ace of Fades barbershop, which has locations in Chula Vista and Imperial Beach.

“Got really nervous because now having two shops, it’s more responsibility,” said owner Leo Barajas, who just opened the Imperial Beach shop in the past month.

Under the state’s plan, a number of businesses would need to close entirely to customers. That creates uncertainty for ones expected to close including hair and nail salons as well as barbershops.

“Not knowing if you’re going to be able to pay rent or just in general stay in business with my shops, that’s pretty scary,” Barajas said. “It does get to me. I get stressed out, but I have to keep a positive mind to get me by.”

The new rules are triggered when fewer than 15% of beds are available in intensive care units for regional hospital networks. Although no region met that criteria as of Thursday, Newsom said four of the state’s five regions — excluding the San Francisco Bay Area — will meet that threshold within a day or two.

The Southern California region lumps San Diego County in with Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties. But Barajas said he doesn’t agree with grouping San Diego with the others.

“I think we should be separated and if we are doing good as a city, I think we should be rewarded by letting us stay open,” he said.

Barajas believes he could handle a three-week shutdown, the length of the stay-at-home order laid out Thursday by Newsom. He certainly hopes it wouldn’t last much longer than that, though.

“I personally know friends of mine that own barbershops and businesses that had shut down already and I think this one is going to hurt more people,” he said.

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