Gov. Murphy: Open Barbershops and Hair Salons Today [Opinion]
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Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been the most vocal supporter of all government officials advocating for proper health precautions and the financial disturbances that may come with them.
I wholeheartedly believe that we should always listen to doctors and scientists and what they are saying. I also believe that Governor Murphy and the health officials he has surrounding him are doing the best they can with the knowledge they have about this novel virus.
With that being said, were a couple months into this lockdown, and it's becoming a little ridiculous.
We can contain COVID-19 while not deliberately destroying the economy.
It's frustrating to see small businesses shuttered while big box stores like Walmart and Target open and flourishing.
One group of people suffering the most are hairstylists and barbers that have likely been on unemployment since the beginning of the state lockdown in March.
Governor Murphy has yet to speak on this issue in his daily press conferences. When officials are asked, they usually scoff and say that people can live without haircuts.
It's never been about living without a haircut. It's been about the people who can't live without cutting hair because of the financial distress that this pandemic is causing.
Earlier this month, Great Clips in Lacey Township announced they will be closing permanently, citing the revenue loss due to COVID-19 related restrictions.
Other hair salons and barbershops are going to follow in their footsteps soon if something doesn't change.
Governor Murphy should open hair salons and barbershops right now and enforce restrictions like those imposed on "essential businesses."
- 50% of the standard capacity in the building at one time.
- Everyone, including those cutting hair, wears a mask at all times.
- Social distancing of at least six feet from each other.
You can combine these broader restrictions that are specialized to hair salons and barbershops specifically like...
- Haircuts ONLY (no waxings, perms, colorings, etc.).
- Haircuts by appointment only.
- The temperature of workers and patrons must be tested before service.
- Per patron sanitizing of chairs and equipment.
Reopening hair salons and barbershops could literally happen today and take less strain on the state economy.
Hygiene IS essential.
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