New Jersey salon owners plan to reopen June 1 despite governor’s order: ‘It’s come to a breaking point’
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A New Jersey salon owner said on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday that hundreds of salons in the state plan to reopen on June 1, despite the governor’s executive order, because their businesses are at “a breaking point.”
“There has been such a huge disconnect in communication and there are so many small businesses, not just the beauty industry, they’re at the end of their rope,” said Jack Panico, the owner of Panico Salon and Spa in Ridgewood.
Panico is one of more than 1,000 salon owners who came together to craft their own plans for reopening.
Last week, Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled what he called a three-stage blueprint to reopen the economy from the COVID-19 shutdown, but gave no timeline on when stages would advance. He did, however, say moving from more restrictive practices in stage one to stage two would be a “matter of weeks.”
Murphy has already eased some restrictions in New Jersey, including opening parks and golf courses along with the state’s beaches, but salon owners have not been told when they can reopen.
Panico said salon owners have been crafting plans to reopen “for a long time.”
“We’ve been working with the protocols, putting things together when this first happened, all the manufacturers, the salon leaders, the whole beauty industry has been working very hard since this happened putting protocols together because there was really no communication,” he said.
Panico went on to say that “dates kept being postponed and postponed and postponed and other states have been opening and opening.”
He explained that after the last postponement salon owners set their own date of reopening on June 1.
This month, more than a dozen states, including Alabama, Florida and Mississippi, eased strict lockdown measures that shuttered businesses and brought the daily lives of millions of Americans to a halt for weeks.
“We are following the other states that opened up,” Panico said.
He noted that “we can keep our people safe and in a sanitized environment because we’re changing the way we run our businesses.” He said that one change will include getting rid of waiting areas.
Panico stressed that the more than 1,000 salon owners who plan to reopen next month are a “peaceful group” and “want to work with the government.”
“We want to engage with the governor. We have been trying so hard,” he said.
Panico noted that salon owners in the state have been trying to communicate with the governor and local leaders through emails, text messages and phone calls, but “it just seems like we’re talking to deaf ears.”
When Fox News reached out for comment, Murphy’s office pointed to an April 27 quote saying, “In order to restore economic health, we must first promote public health. Restarting New Jersey’s economy… will be done methodically, strategically and responsibly.”
New Jersey is one of the hardest-hit states with 155,764 coronavirus cases and more than 11,000 deaths as of Wednesday, according to data compiled by Fox News.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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