Local barbershops, salons can continue indoors despite purple tier restrictions in county

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ENCINITAS, Calif. — Personal care businesses can continue to welcome customers indoors despite a series of new restrictions on other industries as San Diego County this week dropped down into the state’s most restrictive reopening tier.

That’s a relief for businesses such as Headlines The Salon in Encinitas.

“The phones were ringing off the hook,” owner Gayle Fulbright said.

In the state’s “purple” tier, many nonessential businesses including restaurants, churches, movie theaters and gyms, among others, will be required to move to outdoor-only operations. Bars, breweries and distilleries will be able to remain open as long as they are able to operate outside and with food on the same ticket as alcohol.

Remaining open are essential services, personal care services, barbershops, hair salons, outdoor playgrounds and recreational facilities.

“I think the reason we got switched is because we made a lot of noise,” Fulbright said. “Our industry — the pro-beauty industry — really rallied, letting our governor know that we are a safe environment.”

The new guidelines strike a contrast to a summer in one of the state’s most restrictive “stages,” prior to the color-coded reopening system now in place. Many spent part of their year only allowed to perform services outdoors, which presented some challenges.

“We, as a team, decided that we were not going to outside,” she said. “It wasn’t professional and it wasn’t as sanitary as inside.”

Asked about the shift for personal care businesses, the state’s Department of Public Health said California’s plan “evolved with the science and understanding of COVID-19.” Hair salons were allowed to open indoors with modifications on Aug. 31 while nail salons were allowed to do the same in late September, according to the department.

“As always, a local health jurisdiction may continue to implement or maintain more restrictive public health measures if the jurisdiction’s Local Health Officer determines that health conditions in that jurisdiction warrant such measures,” the department said in a statement.

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