'We're really confused': Bay Area salons react to new state tier system for which businesses can open indoors

ByLauren Martinez KGO logo
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Bay Area salons react to new tier system for reopening
Bay Area salons are expressing their confusion over Governor Gavin Newsom's new reopening plan for California.

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Bay Area salons are expressing their confusion over Governor Gavin Newsom's new reopening plan for California.

Stylists at Insignia Salon in Walnut Creek have already been working outside in the parking lot.

Owner Regina Muslimova invested money into buying the right canopy they don't have to constantly set up, and new furniture that can stand the outdoor elements. Both her and her manager Ashley Flowers are excited that come Monday, they'll be able to open indoors.

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California is moving away from the "watch list" system of tracking COVID-19 trends and instead moving to a four-tier, color coded classification system.

"New news is today is that we get to open indoors at 25 percent capacity on Monday," Flowers said.

Both Flowers and Muslimova agreed, the new tier system is confusing.

"We looked at the printout map and Contra Costa looks like it's in the purple, which is like still high amount of people that are sick. And then we go on the website and we're on there, we're allowed to be open on indoors, so we're really confused at this point," Muslimova said.

"It's just very very confusing - you never really know like okay is this what you truly mean this time?," Flowers said.

In Alameda County, today marked the day hair salons, barber shops and nail salons can open outdoor services.

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Robert Lupo, owner of The Salon off Central Avenue, was sweeping outside on his terrace getting three outdoor stations ready.

"We're just kind of preparing for it. Today was the first day but due to the air quality we wanted to wait until Monday," Lupo said.

Even though hair services will be limited, he's excited to get back to work.

"We haven't worked for six months, so any kind of work in some capacity for us to be able to return to is one step forward to some type of normalcy," Lupo said.

His next door neighbor, Polished nail salon, is not reopening outdoors today.

Owner Nancy Hua has already invested in health protocols to run indoors.

"I've already invested a lot of money for PPE inside, and I'm not prepared to invest more money outside," Hua said.

Hua said since she has a small space, she would be the only one working outside.

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"if it's just me working by myself and my clients are outdoor and I go in to do something who knows what's happening out there and I have no protection for them and my products," Hua said.

Kay Batsuren, owner of Me Nails a few doors down is also not reopening until they can work indoors.

"We'll be getting into your nails cleaning up so it will be windy and like dust and whatever it will get stuck on it. So I personally don't think it's sanitary," Batsuren said.

She said if they're not allowed to reopen indoors within two months, she'll have to shut down permanently.

"Yeah at this point I mean, you know, if this doesn't happen any sooner we'll probably temporarily, well permanently, shut down," Batsuren said.

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