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Newsom Allows Some Personal Care Services to Move Outdoors in California

Pedicures can be done outside with certain modifications. – Courtesy photo by Rune Enstad on Unsplash

During a press conference Monday afternoon, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced new guidelines for hair salons, barbershops and other personal care services to operate outdoors.

“Turns out there were issues of chemicals and shampoos and perms…it was more complicated than some had considered, especially in terms of local orders in place,” he said. “Hopefully, that provides more clarity.”

Outdoor operations may be conducted under a tent, canopy, or other sun shelter as long as no more than one side is closed, allowing sufficient outdoor air movement.

Salons and barbershops should not perform a service that would require a customer to have to enter the establishment. In addition to using face coverings, workers should consider using glasses, goggles, or face shields during the provision of services, particularly during face to face encounters.

Customers should be contacted before visits to confirm appointments and ask if they or someone in their household is exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms. If the customer answers in the affirmative appointments should be rescheduled. Business should also have an outdoor reception area for guests to check in but, if possible, this should be done virtually.

Cosmetology, nail services, and massage therapy, facials and waxing are also allowed outdoors with additional modifications.

For esthetic, skin care, and cosmetology services:

  • Workers should wear a face shield for eye protection (with a face covering) when they are providing clients treatments that do not enable the client to wear a face covering.
  • Disposable gloves should be worn throughout the entire service and while performing cleaning and disinfection of all implements and surfaces after each client session.
  • Before leaving the outside treatment area, workers must remove and dispose of gloves, apply proper hand sanitizer, or wash hands with soap and water.
  • Single use applicators must be used and disposed of immediately after use in a lined trash bin. The trash bin should have a lid and should be lined with a disposable plastic bag.

Additional considerations for nail services include:

  • Asking clients to use hand sanitizer before nail services are provided.
  • Workers must wear face coverings at all times or a respirator where required.
  • Disposable gloves should be worn throughout the entire service and while performing cleaning and disinfection of all implements and surfaces after each client.
  • Pedicures done outside shall be limited to portable tubs/bowls and must be disinfected with an EPA-registered liquid disinfectant that is labeled as a bactericide, fungicide and virucide.
  • Nail salons should use disposable supplies whenever possible.
  • All single use items, such as cardboard files, sand-bands for drills and buffers, disposable sandals, toe separators, and applicators, must be used once and immediately thrown away in a lined, lidded trash can.
  • In the absence of a nail polish display, businesses should use a color palette, which is to be cleaned and disinfected after each client use. If the nail polish display is not removed, nail polishes should be cleaned and disinfected before being returned to the display.
  • If feasible, plastic partitions should be installed between the worker and client.
  • Only one manicurist should work at each station and clients should not be allowed to get multiple services at the same time, such as a manicure and pedicure.
  • If fans, such as pedestal fans or hard-mounted fans, are used in the outside salon, steps should be taken to minimize air from fans blowing directly from one person toward another. If fans are disabled or removed, employers should remain aware of possible heat hazards and take steps to mitigate them.

Additional considerations for massage services include:

  • Asking client to wash their hands before any services are provided.
  • Considering alterations to the treatment table setup to support the required cleaning and disinfecting protocols. This could include using disposable face cradle covers and/or protecting the table, table warmers, bolsters, and other items with washable barriers like pillowcases that can be removed and replaced between each client. Barriers are not a substitution for the required cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
  • If it is feasible to provide facial massages and other hands-on work to the face, workers should use non-latex gloves for the treatment. Facial massages should not be performed if it requires removal of the client’s face covering.
  • Hand treatment should be the last service provided.

Electrology, tattooing, and piercing services are still not permitted outdoors “because they are invasive procedures that require a controlled hygienic environment to be performed safely,” according to guidelines for personal care services.

Complete guidelines can be found at

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