Few Orange County nail salons choosing to reopen outdoor operations after Gov. Newsom's new guidelines

Though Governor Gavin Newsom released new guidelines allowing nail salons to conduct outdoor operations with limitations, many salons in Orange County are choosing to not reopen outdoors due to all of the obstacles involved.
TUSTIN, Calif. (KABC) -- In order to stay open, Ritz Nails in Tustin has moved its operation completely outside - in compliance with state guidelines announced this week.

"It's complicated because everything is mobile. It's not set up as in the store, so we have to buy a tent. We have to move all the furniture to serve the customer," said owner Tuyen Phan.

Although he understands it's uncomfortable to be outside, he says customers seem to love the fresh air. But it might also be that they don't have many options.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a change in the rules for hair salons and other beauty services in a Monday press conference on the coronavirus pandemic.

"I saw somebody outside and I said great we have a place that's doing nails outside because obviously that's what can be done," said Araceli Luna, who came from Santa Ana.

We're told some customers have come from as far as L.A. and San Diego.

"Since the governor and the state of California has allowed nail salons to operate outdoors, I've personally called 24 nail salon owners and only one is operating outdoors," said Tam Nguyen, the president of Advanced Beauty College and a co-founder of Nailing it for America, which has been advocating for nail salons to remain open. He says many salons haven't opened outside because it presents too many obstacles, like permits and permission, even space.

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"Others fear liability because what if someone slips and falls. There's electrical cords that have to be pulled out and what about conditions such as today is beautiful but what about the hot weather, the heat? What about the wind?" Nguyen said. "Although we're able to operate outside safely, the main goal and overall is to operate inside safely. We know that we are safe. We know that we are an industry that is prepared to do these services safely."

Meanwhile, customers are happy to be getting their nails done, period.

"I think a lot of local businesses need support and so I feel like going out, getting your nails done, doing a little shopping, having lunch outdoors, if you're comfortable I think it's a good thing to do," said Santa Ana resident Julie Millenacker.

On an economic level, some salon owners have already thrown in the towel, shutting down their businesses completely. Many others are one decision away from that.

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