Facing negative media attention and criticism from mayors across the state, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on Friday ordered the closure of beauty salons, tattoo parlors, spas, and other businesses.
The move came after nearly two weeks of silence from the governor on his inclusion of beauty salons on a list of essential services that are exempt from his stay-at-home order.
Many hair stylists, nail technicians, and other beauty workers also criticized Ducey for including their businesses on the essential services list, saying that they could not possibly do their jobs while maintaining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended six feet of distance from their clients to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In a press statement, Ducey framed the reversal as "providing clarity" and additional "guidance," although it would be more accurate to call his move a reversal. Ducey's initial guidance specified: "professional services, such as legal services, accounting services, insurance services, personal hygiene services (including barber shops and salons)." The list, published on the governor's website on March 23, now omits the part about barbers and salons.
Yet as of 2:40 p.m. on Friday, the website for Ducey's own Board of Cosmetology was still advising that cosmetology, hairstyling, nail technology, and aesthetic salons were considered essential services. The website also states, "It is the discretion each salon owners themself to decide to remain open or to close your salon."
Under Ducey's new guidance, all salons will be ordered to close by 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 4.
Democratic mayors across the state, including Kate Gallego of Phoenix, Regina Romero of Tucson, and Coral Evans of Flagstaff, have been slamming Ducey for including salons as an essential service since he released his list on March 23. Evans went as far as closing salons in Flagstaff, defying Ducey's initial order.
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Ducey first reversed his position on beauty salons during a televised town hall on Thursday evening. Pressed multiple times by Arizona PBS' Ted Simmons, Ducey insisted that his executive order did not cover beauty salons, which he referred to as "those businesses you’re talking about."
"If they’re looking for cover under one of the categories, they’ll be have to demonstrate that they can exercise social distancing or some other type of protective measure," Ducey said.
Here's the complete list of businesses affected under Ducey's "additional guidance" released today:
If not already closed, the following services shall cease operations no later than 5 p.m. on April 4, 2020, as these services cannot comply with the guidelines required in paragraph 11 of Executive Order 2020-18, directing Arizonans to Stay Home, Stay Healthy, and Stay Connected.
Cosmetology, Hairstyling, Nail Salons and Aesthetic Salons
In addition, the following services shall also cease operations by 5 p.m. Saturday, April 4:
Amenities at public parks that do not allow for recommended physical distancing or proper hygiene such as basketball courts, splash pads, playgrounds and public restrooms but public parks shall remain open to the greatest extent possible.
Communal pools such as those at hotels, condominiums, apartment complexes and parks, however, these should still be maintained under environmental and public health rules and guidelines.
The Governor’s Office also provided guidance related to the following services, which are considered essential and may continue operations:
Personal hygiene services including in-home services such as assistance with bathing and cleaning for vulnerable adults and those who are disabled.
Daycare centers providing care for individuals with children serving in any essential services category.
Hotels and motels, to the extent used for lodging, including RV Parks, and hotel and motel restaurants providing delivery or carryout food services.
Respite and palliative care.