SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — Some salon owners and lawmakers are demanding Governor Newsom allow some recently closed salons to take their businesses outside.

“The pandemic isn’t going anywhere.”

Salon owners were tearful and stressed days after the state forced most of them to shut down.

“None of the people that are on that list of recent closures have been licensed by the state in sanitation,” Salon owner Rosey Ibarra said. “There’s no reason why we don’t get the respect that we deserve and work so hard for.”

In a virtual press conference Thursday, a group representing thousands of personal care salons across California and Assemblyman Jim Patterson urged Governor Newsom to throw out a business licensing code that prohibits hair dressers and other personal care technicians from working outside.

The request comes days after Gov. Newsom ordered most personal care service salons in the state to shut down, citing an overall increase in cases and community spread of coronavirus.

Newsom has said indoor operations at businesses are the concern, and has encouraged other industries like restaurants and fitness centers to move services outside.

“Right now, these establishments do not have the privilege of making a free decision, in a free society, and being fairly treated,” Patterson said.

We asked Gov. Newsom’s office for comment on the request but it referred us to the state licensing board. A spokesperson said the board is looking deeply into the issue and exploring options.

Meanwhile, advocates for these workers acknowledge not all services will be able to go outside.

“It’s primarily going to be simple haircuts, manicures, pedicures, these things can be done, but not all of our services,” Fred Jones, Professional Beauty Federation of California, said. “It’s not a complete solution but we’re looking to at least provide some relief.”

Newsom’s administration has said the latest indoor closures, including those to personal care services are indefinite.

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