Going to an indoor mall and getting a manicure is as much a part of the California culture as surfing and sunshine—but these favorite pastimes have been forbidden by the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. People in desperate need of cuticle care and shop owners shut out of reopening have urged the state to re-evaluate its strict guidelines. On Tuesday, state officials announced counties in Tier 1 — those deemed most at risk of widespread COVID-19 infection — will now have the option to let nail salons operate indoors. Same goes for indoor malls, however capacity will be limited.
The decision follows months of outcry from nail salon owners who felt they had been unfairly targeted after Governor Gavin Newsom claimed the first COVID-19 case in the state originated at a nail salon. Activists have debuked that claim.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Health and Human Services Department Director, says they have worked with business leaders and county officials to ensure nail salons can safely operate indoors.
“We’re of course very sensitive, and interested, to support economic sectors throughout the state,” Ghaly said.
However, nail salons can only offer services at a 25 percent capacity, which means some manicurists may still set up shop on sidewalks and offer pedis in parking lots. They will find the space to do it, because manis and pedis in Cali are very important pastimes. So is shopping, and malls have turned into literal ghost towns. Up next and opening next for hopeful Californians; bars and gyms.