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'Irresponsible' for hair and nail salons in Utah to be open, stylist says

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Some hair stylists are calling for a statewide shutdown of the beauty industry, including massages, haircuts and manicures, over coronavirus concerns. (Photo: KUTV)

Some hair stylists are calling for a statewide shutdown of the beauty industry, including massages, haircuts and manicures, over coronavirus concerns.

“There’s no way for us to practice safe distancing,” said Matthew Landis, a hair stylist who owns Atelier in Salt Lake City.

“There’s no way for us to perform services six feet away from a customer. To me, every day, every client is just another roll of the dice.”

Landis acknowledged the financial pain and called on government leaders to make sure the industry is included in their recovery plans.

He stopped doing hair a week ago, and many of the seven others who work at his salon have followed suit or scaled back.

“Our stylists are scared,” Landis said. “They’re scared to work. They’re scared to not work.”

Another stylist at the salon, Michelé Huntsman-Orr, said she has stepped back from work ever since March 11, when she cut the hair of a main who’d just returned from Italy.

“We’re close and personal,” she said.

She’s encouraging others who work in close proximity to people to take a break, and she’s worried about the clients, especially the elderly.

“I would like Gov. Herbert to have the salons stop,” she said. “Stop working. Stay home. Stay safe.”

“We’re still allowed to be open,” Landis said, “and personally, I think that’s irresponsible.”

Salt Lake County and the state epidemiologist said on Tuesday that they are monitoring the data daily to determine if any additional public policies or closures are needed.

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