ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Hours after the mayor of Orange County wrote a letter asking that salons and barbershops be allowed to open next week, Gov. Ron DeSantis made a visit to Orlando for a roundtable at an area hair salon Saturday.
DeSantis spoke alongside Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Dr. Raul Pino, Director of Florida Department of Health in Orange County and Dr. George Ralls, Medical Chief Quality Officer at Orlando Health.
The group met at OhSoooJazzy in Orange County. Like other salons across the country, OhSoooJazzy has been shuttered for more than a month in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“A lot of our clients are essential workers and they’re going out and not looking their best and they’re calling us,” OhSoooJazzy owner Nadine Tarpley said. “People consider hair salons and barbershops to be essential for their everyday lives.”
During the round table discussion with salon employees, DeSantis listened to workers affected by the closures and heard their opinion and thoughts on their businesses remaining closed throughout the first phase of Florida’s reopening process.
DeSantis assured everyone that he would work quickly to get hair salons and barbershops opened in Florida.
The governor said he will be taking the feedback he received and will be discussing it with his team over the next few days.
“I think at the end of the day, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when with the salons,” Desantis said. “We just want to be judicious, consult with medical folks and make sure it’s safety first.”
On Wednesday, DeSantis announced that certain businesses could start operating again come Monday as long as they had certain hygiene and social distancing protocols in place.
Restaurants and retailers will open their doors as part of phase one of DeSantis’ reopening Florida plan but hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, gyms, bars and certain other establishments will need to remain closed.
The move to keep those shops effectively shut down went against President Donald Trump’s reopening America plan, which called for those businesses to open as part of phase one of restarting the economy.
The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force spoke out late this week, asking Demings to fight to get salons and barbershops back open.
Addressing the media Friday evening, Demings said he believed those businesses could safely operate, which is why he penned a letter to DeSantis asking that they be allowed to operate.
“I believe that through making appointments, they can certainly schedule individuals, and they can control the social distancing,” Demings said.
Check back for more updates on this developing story.