HARTFORD, Connecticut — As of 7 p.m. Sunday, about 9,000 people have signed a petition for licensed barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists to be allowed to return to work by the end of April.
The petition calls for the professionals to be allowed to work on one client at a time.
Organizers say if allowed, all existing sterilization and sanitation protocols approved by the state and coinciding county's Boards of Health would be strictly maintained. All individuals would also wear face masks.
"Not only are we suffering from the financial aspects of this shut-down, but we are dealing with the reality that we are unable to provide the services that our loyal clientele rely upon," they wrote.
According to the petition website, it was launched for the barber and hairstyling industry to be recognized and deemed an essential business.
"With careful and responsible procedures, we can safely provide the necessary services that our clients so desire," organizers said.
One of the signers is Morgan Seeley of Headliners Salon & Spa in Tolland. She told FOX61's Carmen Chau that reopening would require some scheduling adjustments.
"I would add an additional 15 minutes per appointment, so that would give us enough time to clean up after everyone, like make sure we wipe everything down, make sure everything's safe, make sure people cash out. We would have the client that's waiting for the next one - they would wait in the parking lot and we would call them when we're ready to have them come in once the other once cashed out and is ready to leave."
Others signers shared why they supported the petition:
- "To assist this small business industry get back to work so they can feed their families." - Maria W.
- "I want to remain looking professional while working in healthcare fighting Covid." - Daniella R.
- "They need to make a living just like everybody else." - Darren S.
- "This is a good balance between safety and the needs of individuals and family to earn a living and save their businesses." - David E.
- "These businesses can safely operate. Small businesses need a chance to survive in this diminishing economy." - Kirsten K.