San Diego County

New Wave of Business Rollbacks Cuts Options Short for Barbers

Thirty counties including Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego, must roll back their reopening plans.

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Governor Gavin Newsom ordered salons, gyms, churches and to stop all indoor operations amid rising coronavirus cases in San Diego and across the state.

These businesses must do so by midnight Tuesday, or first thing Wednesday morning.

“[It’s] a lot of uncertainty. We don’t know what’s gonna happen,” said Jorge Chavez, owner of Blends Hairquarters in North Park.

Chavez opened his barbershop a year ago this month, but the initial coronavirus shutdown, then reopening, and now a second shutdown have been frustrating.

“I mean, they say the first year of business is hard, but I didn’t know it came with all this,” the barber told NBC 7 after learning of Newsom’s decision.

In his once again daily news conference Governor Newsom made the surprise announcement that counties on the state’s watchlist — which includes Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego — must reimpose coronavirus restrictions.

The order orders all indoor operations of gyms, places of worship, offices for “non-critical sectors,” personal care services, hair salons, barbershops, and malls must stop.

“The impact of the spread of the virus outside is more favorable than mixing with individuals for an extended period of time inside where you don’t have air circulation,” Newsom explained.

But moving outside for a barbershop or a salon likely isn’t an option.

The California State Board of Barbering and Costmetology wrote in a Facebook post Monday that “all barbering, costmetology and electology services be performed in a licensed establishment. Therefore, establishments that are within the specified counties [on the Governor’s watchlist] must close immediately and not offer any services (including any outdoor services.)”

And even if exceptions were made as we’ve seen with restaurants, the challenges are still daunting.

“I don’t know if we could do it outside,” said Chavez.

“It’d be really hard especially when we’ve got this heat wave going on. It’d just be really hard to cut outside,” he said.

Now the barber is working on a plan to move forward once again keeping his employees in mind.

“We just started cutting [hair] again, we’re barely trying to get back on our feet, and then this happens,” said Chavez.

But the coronavirus has cut short any hope of immediate relief.

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