WESTMINSTER (CBSLA) — Nail salon owners protested in Westminster on Monday, demanding to have their shops reopen in the state.
The protesters — who were part of the Nailing It For America organization — gathered at the Asian Garden Mall in Little Saigon to urge California Gov. Gavin Newsom to extend guidelines that have allowed other businesses to reopen.
According to the state’s initial roadmap to recovery plan, nail salons were categorized as “higher risk environments,” along with gyms, hair salons and movie theaters, included under Stage 3 of the plan.
The state issued a news release on Friday putting nail salons into the same category of kids’ sports and weddings as gatherings.
Christie Nguyen, the co-founder of Nailing It For America, said nail shops are facing a delay that is putting a strain on their businesses and livelihood, despite being prepared to take safety precautions.
“Ever since the beginning, and prior to COVID-19, we’ve been prepared in regards to (personal protective equipment), and now purchasing shields, purchasing masks and the abundance of caution we’re taking,” Nguyen said. “We just feel like this is our time to reopen, and we don’t know why we haven’t been able to.”
Newsom said last month that community transmission in California began at a nail salon, but Nguyen said state public health officials told them that could not be proven.
Some nail salon owners said that the comment could promote further discrimination against Asians during this pandemic.
Newsom’s spokesperson Jesse Melgar said in a statement, “The Newsom administration continues to engage with stakeholders in the nail salon industry to gather feedback and participate in constructive dialogue about reopening — with a focus on public health and safety. We remain committed to keeping the lines of communication open as we look to modify our Stay at Home order.”
Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, who also serves as president of the California State Association of Counties, said she believes nail salons will get approval to reopen soon.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)