California, the most populous U.S. state, took another step on Tuesday toward ending sweeping lockdowns imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic, allowing barber shops and hair salons in most counties to operate for the first time in more than two months.
On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom lifted orders that banned church services and in-store retail shopping, although with restrictions in place to prevent further outbreaks of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.
Although 47 of California’s 53 counties have qualified to reopen barber shops and hair salons under the complex formula established by Newsom and health officials, they will remain closed in two of its largest and best-known cities: Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Statewide nail and brow salons, tattoo shops, gyms, bars and entertainment venues as well as community centers and public pools are still banned from operating.
Newsom slapped stay-at-home orders on businesses across the state on March 19 as the pandemic began to spread nationwide.
While lifting the ban on services at places of worship, the governor limited the number of people who can gather at one time to 25 percent of a building’s capacity.
Last week the Trump administration accused Newsom of discrimination by preventing places of worship from meeting while businesses and film studios were allowed to carry on working.
While clearing the way for shopping at retail stores, the governor required owners to adopt strict cleaning measures and limit the number of shoppers at any given time.