LOS ANGELES - Nail industry leaders are trying to come up with very specific plans to ensure that customers will be safe in nail salons.
The pressure is mounting against the governor to allow hair and nail salons to reopen. Some groups are suing while others are protesting.
In Simi Valley, nail salon employees staged a protest demanding they be allowed to reopen as soon as possible.
“We have nothing, we can’t survive, we can’t live,” said protestor Joan Williams.
Further south in Huntington Beach, a more subdued approach is being taken.
“Not just push to reopen, that’s not what we’re trying to do,” said Johnny Ngo, owner of Whale Spa Furniture in Huntington Beach.
He also started an organization called “Nailing It For America” to mobilize the nail industry during the COVID-19 crisis.
Monday, he held a roundtable discussion with his congressman Harley Rouda to present plans for helping nail salons safely reopen.
“To help you get back on your feet as soon as possible,” said Rouda.
“We’re actually speaking with him but also with other legislative officials to work together,” said Ngo.
Ngo is proposing a four-step process including mandatory gloves and masks, extra cleaning and strict sanitizing measures, and installing plexiglass shields. Ngo sells them at his store and says he’s already sold thousands.
“Salons are definitely retrofitting their spaces with this.”
At Images Luxury Nail Lounge in Irvine, Owner Tracy Pham says nail techs will wear masks and face shields in addition to the plexiglass shields and that’s not all.
“Once you arrive, we're gonna ask you to answer some questions regarding your health, and then we will take your temperature and then ask you to wash hands,” said Pham.
Salons can also use disposable nail kits.
“Disposables such as files buffers, packets of lotions, scrubs,” said Ngo.
And Ngo says while some salons may not survive the COVID-19 crisis, he believes those that do will offer a safer salon experience.
The governor has indicated that nail salons won’t be allowed to reopen until Phase 3 but we don’t have a firm date for that yet.
Newsom on Monday during his news conference seemed to indicate that we could hear something more in early June.
But again salons insist they are ready to open now.