Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont Delays Opening Salons to Align with Rhode Island Governor

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said Monday he was pulling back hair salons and barbershops from reopening in the state on Wednesday, May 20, in order to align with Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D).

Lamont said hair salons and barbershops would not open now until the target date of June 1.

NBC CT reported:

The governor’s office first announced the change in a statement saying that Gov. Ned Lamont and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo would now plan to realign the reopening of hair salons and barbershops in the two states in early June.

Asked at his coronavirus briefing on Monday, “what were some of the obstacles” salon owners discussed with him that led him to postpone their opening, Lamont said he looked at the decision from “a pure health point of view.”

He explained that, while his reopening advisory board made recommendations of how to reopen salons and barbershops, the owners of these businesses he spoke with said they needed more time.

From some of the Twitter responses Lamont received to his announcement to delay the opening of the salons, it appears many owners believe those who felt ready to open should be able to move ahead on May 20:

Lamont said during his briefing he originally decided to reopen salons on May 20 because Rhode Island and other neighboring states made the same decision. Now, however, Raimondo has postponed that date.

“So, we can still work in collaboration with our regional states, at least Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and give our hair salons and barber shops just a little more time,” Lamont said.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced Monday hair salons and barbershops in his state may reopen May 25.

Lamont apologized to those salon owners who were ready to reopen on Wednesday but then said, “Give us a little more time for all your peers to get up and operating.”

It is unclear why the governor believes all hair salons and barbershops must reopen on the same day.

In an interview with the Hartford Courant, Lamont said he would not commit to a date of June 20 for indoor dining, stating he “will want to try and coordinate that better with our other governors.”

“As you know, [Rhode Island Gov.] Gina Raimondo is doing outdoor dining as well,” he said.

Lamont is allowing offices, retail stores, and restaurants for outdoor dining to reopen Wednesday.

Connecticut Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano said in a statement Lamont’s decision to postpone hair salons and barbershops from reopening “has completely shaken the public’s trust”:

Governor Lamont has repeatedly talked about the importance of making decisions based on science. But today’s last-minute delay is not based on science. It’s not based on a change in hospitalizations or testing or any other metric identified by the experts. It’s a policy decision based on input that should have been sought long before decisions were made.

Fasano pointed to the many salon owners who have worked to reopen Wednesday.

“[T]oday’s delay has absolutely nothing to do with medical science,” he said. “It’s about political science. This last-minute announcement is a slap in the face to job creators.”



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