CA beauty professionals ask Gov. Newsom to waive law so they can work outside

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Salon owners and state lawmakers are asking Governor Gavin Newsom to allow beauty industry professionals to perform their services outside on sidewalks.

Outdoor dining has taken on a new meaning during the coronavirus pandemic and here in California, we've even seen relaxed restrictions around serving and drinking alcohol outdoors.

Now beauty professionals want the same allowances made for them.

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"None of the people on the list of closures has been licensed in sanitation, we are," said salon owner Rosey Ibarra.

California Assemblyman Jim Patterson is joining salon owners in calling on Newsom to temporarily waive a state law that prevents hairdressers, barbers, manicurists and cosmetologists from providing services outside of a licensed establishment.

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"Governor you ought to pay attention to this and fix it," said Patterson.

Patterson cites that the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control was allowed to waive regulations in order to serve outdoors.

Salon owners say in the absence of this option they are struggling.

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"We're not able to pay our bills," said salon owner Jessie Santiago.

The Professional Beauty Federation of California says the request would not be limited to haircuts and could include manicures, pedicures and waxing services.

"Allow beauty professionals to get creative on best ways to perform their services," said Ibarra.

Bay Area residents seem to think it's a good idea within reason.

"The way the wind is blowing it could be a hair storm," said San Francisco resident Robert Fitch.

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"We have to do it responsibly if we want to get back to some sense of normalcy," said San Francisco resident Kristy Davis.

In an emailed statement to ABC7 News, a spokesperson with the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency writes, "The Administration understands and is very sympathetic to the possible economic hardships on salons. For now, the law does not allow salon services to be performed outside. However, we are actively looking at this issue and exploring options to lessen the economic harm on these businesses."

Salon owners say without the exception they could be forced to shut down permanently.

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