LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Personal service businesses, like hair and nail salons, could be required to shut down in L.A. County as soon as Saturday under the governor’s new statewide order that is tied to the number of open ICU beds, but some business owners say they will not comply.
Granada Hills salon owner Denise Johnson, of Salon Integrity, has had her shop shut down twice due to pandemic restrictions, but she says she won’t be closing again if the state requires personal service businesses, like salons to shut down for a three-week period.READ MORE: Family Of Man Killed In DUI Crash Outraged Driver Spent Only One Week In Jail
“This shutdown is do-or-die for most salons,” Johnson said. “This would be our third shutdown, and each time we shut down, we lose more clients and we lose more hairdressers.
Johnson says she has taken every precaution to keep her customers safe with salon stations six feet apart, following sanitizing protocols after each customer and installing curtains between each station to further separate clients.
“Just in case there are any droplets that escape from a mask, they will not be transferred to anyone on each side,” Johnson said. “I don’t want to lie and try to pretend I am not open. I want to be out in the open and say we can’t afford it, there has to be a better way.”
Johnson says the salon keeps its occupancy below 25%.
“We make sure people do not linger,” she said. “We do not have a waiting room. We don’t serve coffee or magazines…. we have followed the rules.”
December is one of the busiest months for salons.READ MORE: Pasadena Considers Technology To Help Law Enforcement Detect Gunshots
“If we shut down for 3 weeks, we will have missed a critical time.
Johnson is afraid if she closes her doors again, she’ll be shut down for good.
“When you say it’s a temporary shutdown, you know, March was supposed to be a few days and it stretched to June,” Johnson said.
What’s still unclear to businesses like Johnson’s Granada Hills salon is who will enforce the shutdown, and what will happen to businesses if they decide to stay open.
Johnson knows speaking out could put a target on her business, but she says she is hoping it will instead encourage lawmakers to reconsider.
“Please reconsider. There has to be a better way,” Johnson said. “I think if two lockdowns didn’t work, the third won’t either.”MORE NEWS: LA County Reports 5 New COVID-19 Deaths; Hospitalizations Hold Steady
Health officials say businesses who don’t follow the order could face fines or even a misdemeanor citation.