Some hair salons in Jacksonville still open amid COVID-19 pandemic

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Under an executive order, nightclubs, bars and gyms in the Jacksonville area must stay closed to control the spread of coronavirus. Restaurants can stay open, but only for pickup and deliveries.

When it comes to barbershops and salons, the owners of those establishments are making the decision of whether their business is open or closed.

At the Hair Loft in Mandarin, there have been no haircuts, colorings or touch-ups since last weekend. Nicole Lombardi is the owner. In the three years she’s been in business, this is first time she made the decision to close the doors.

“Our clients are our family. If one of them gets sick. Then it gets all of us sick, and it in turn gets everybody else sick,” Lombardi said.

Lombardi realizes she’s losing money by choosing to remain closed. She said she can only stay closed for so long, which is why she has plans in place to eventually re-open, but with limited staff.

“We’re going to have one stylist here with one client at a time, and it we will be open seven days a week," she said.

One mile up the road at For Your Eyes Only Hair Salon and Spa, owner Carlos Alvarado, who’s been in business for 30 years, chose not to close his doors.

“I say you do what’s best for you because if you feel like you might be a victim of this virus, then by all means, quarantine yourself. Stay at home. Do what you need to do. As far as us at For Your Eye’s Only, we’re taking all the precautions we can," Alvarado said.

Those precautions include washing hands, wiping everything down with disinfectant and wearing a mask for any client who feels uncomfortable.

“I’m working on a very strict small staff. This way everybody has lots of space and nobody feels uncomfortable, and at any given time, there’s only three or four of us in this entire salon," he said.

For Lombardi, the threat of Coronavirus is personal.

“I have a godson who doesn’t have an immune system. By the grace of God, he’s still here. I want to make sure I’m doing everything in my power to not do anything to give him a contagion," she said.

Alvarado said, “You have to just stay string and focus on the fact there is going to be better tomorrow, and if God permits, it will hopefully be sooner than we anticipate now.”

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