By Alecia Reid


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Salons are facing a tricky path to reopening. Epidemiologists say the close proximity makes it difficult to keep from infecting others, but owners say they are taking preventative measures.

The owner of Bernie’s Hair Studio in Ardmore understands people are scared so she’s being proactive in order to give customers a sense of security.

“We went from floor to ceiling and we put in shower curtains that are 96-inch curtains that separate each station,” Bernadette Maurone said.

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Stylists plan on taking customer’s temperatures and a slew of other precautions.

Over in Philadelphia, Main Attraction Unisex Salon is also upgrading.

“I’m picking up paintbrushes and sand machines to make sure that when my business reopens, it’ll be compliant with the new norm,” owner Kenny Duncan said.

But reopening in the near future looks bleak.

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On Tuesday, Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed HB 2388, which would allow hair salons and barbershops in red zones to reopen.

He said, with advice from expert epidemiologists and public health officials, his decision isn’t solely based on the number of COVID-19 cases in those areas, but also how a community interacts, transmission points and geographic location.

But Duncan says, if anything, barbershops and hair salons will help flatten the curve.

“We’re trained on how to protect the public. We have extensive hours of training in microbiology, virus transmission, virus protection and sanitation of implementing tools,” Duncan said.

A consortium of barbers and stylists are working with local officials to establish the Back To Work Safely Program that will be made into a bill and presented to Gov. Wolf.

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So how long would a bill take?

“The more pressure people put on their local elected officials by calling up their state reps, making sure they’re in contact with the city council. The more they know people care about this topic, the more pressure there will be for them to do something about it,” Duncan said.

For now, they will continue to prepare.

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