Governor: Salons reopening 'not a matter of if, but when'

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis met with salon owners in MetroWest Saturday to discuss plans for reopening salons and barber shops.

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  • | 11:35 a.m. May 4, 2020
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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As the state of Florida begins Phase 1 of reopening, hair salons could be among the next wave of businesses to reopen down the road.

During a roundtable discussion with salon owners Saturday, May 2, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis heard their concerns and promised he would begin working toward reopening Florida salons and barber shops as soon as possible.

The roundtable also included Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings; Dr. George Ralls, chief quality officer of Orlando Health’s Orlando Regional Medical Center; and Dr. Raul Pino, Florida Department of Health in Orange County health officer.

The meeting took place at Oh Sooo Jazzy Hair Salon in the MetroWest area, and salon owner Nadine Tarpley said her phone has been ringing off the hooks with inquiries from clients. Reopening is important she said, but even more important is keeping stylists and clients safe. She added that she’s ordered hand sanitizers, disposable capes and masks in an effort to keep everyone safe.

“We’ve taken every measure even before this happened to make sure everyone’s safe,” Tarpley said. “We’re professional enough to protect ourselves and our clients, we just want the opportunity … to help ourselves.”

Fellow salon owners and barbers echoed Tarpley’s sentiments, adding that saving lives is more important than making money but at the same time, small businesses need help.

DeSantis maintains a prohibition thus far on the reopening of close-contact services such as haircuts and styling, but said the reopening is “not a matter of if, but when.”

The meeting came a day after Demings had sent a letter to DeSantis asking that hair salons be included in the first phase of reopening the state.

“They convinced me that they were able to open with the right sanitary measures in place … I do believe as we rebalance the opening with the need for safety in our community … I have no concern of whether they can do it safely or not,” Demings said.

While salons are not yet allowed to reopen, DeSantis promised salon owners that he is working quickly to get to that point and would take what they told him back to his task force.

“If this is your business, it sure as heck is essential to you,” DeSantis told them.


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