Haircuts Return To Some Washington Counties
Posted May 14, 2020
By Washington State Business & Real Estate Law Lawyer Todd J. Cook
Yesterday, I wrote about the quick progress Washington has seen since the implementation of the “Safe Start Washington” plan. I focused on (1) the industries re-opened across Washington in Phase 1 and the requirements for businesses operating in those industries, (2) the 8 low density counties that have already advanced to Phase 2, and (3) the three Phase 2 industries for which the Governor has already issued re-opening guidance and requirements. Shortly after my posting yesterday, the Governor issued guidance and industry-specific requirements for “Professional Services” and “Personal Services” re-opening in Phase 2. This guidance means that professional offices and personal services business (such as hairstylists, barbers, and tattoo artists) can now re-open in Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Stevens, and Wahkiakum counties.
While DIY haircuts have started making appearances in Washington’s social media posts and Zoom business meetings, many Washingtonians have clamored for their favorite hair salon or barber shop to re-open (not the least of which has been Seattle Mariners broadcaster, Brad Adam, whose regionally famous hair has its own parody Twitter account, @BradAdamsHair). The wait is now (theoretically) over for Washingtonians residing in the eight Phase 2 counties. As explained in the Governor’s May 13, 2020 memo to interested stakeholders, in addition to hair salons and barber shops, the “personal services” business authorized to re-open in Phase 2 include cosmetologist, estheticians, master estheticians, manicurists, nail salon workers, electrologists, permanent makeup artists, tattoo artists, cosmetology schools, and esthetics schools. The memo also notes that massage therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic and other services regulated by Washington’s Department of Health are not Phase 2 “personal services.”
While personal services are authorized to re-open in Phase 2 counties as of May 13, 2020, you may not be able to book your hair, tattoo, or manicure appointment just yet. Before Phase 2 businesses are allowed to re-open the personal service providers must be able to comply with the Governor’s “Phase 2 Personal Services COVID-19 Requirements.” Those requirements include (among other things) a detailed “COVID-19 facility-specific safety practices,” a “Sick Employee Plan,” and employee training requirements.
Now, Brad Adam (and others among the majority of Washingtonians who reside in counties that will remain in Phase 1 for the rest of the month) may be wondering if he should take a road trip this weekend to Wahkiakum County (or one of the 7 other Phase 2 counties) for a much needed professional haircut. Unfortunately, doing so would likely be deemed a violation of the Stay Home Order. For those of us residing in Phase 1 counties, travel is still limited under the Governor’s “Stay Home – Stay Healthy” Order to “Essential travel and limited non-essential travel for Phase 1 permissible activities.” (Note: the linked chart can be found at page 6 of the “Safe Start Washington” plan).
Personal services providers located in the Phase 1 counties should take advantage of the next two weeks to put in place the policies and practices necessary to comply with the “Phase 2 Personal Services COVID-19 Requirements.”
On May 13, the Governor also issued a memo to interested stakeholders in the “Professional Services” sector. The Governor also issued detailed “Phase 2 Professional Services COVID-19 Requirements.”
The “Professional Services” that will re-open in Phase 2 include accountants, attorneys, architects, engineers, financial advisors, information technologists, insurance agents, tax prepares, and “other office-based occupations that typically serve a client base.” The Governor recognized that this definition of “professional services” includes a segment of “professional-service operations” that were “previously authorized, like services necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities and those related to critical sector services,” as well as some “professional-service operations . . . that are newly authorized” to resume operations outside of the home. “Newly authorized” professional-service operations “may operate immediately if they can meet and maintain all requirements” set forth in the Phase 2 Professional Services COVID-19 Requirements. However, because the “previously authorized” professional-services operations relate to “essential business” these businesses are given a grace period until May 27, 2020 to “implement all requirements under Phase 2 – Professional Services.”
While professional-services operators in the eight Phase 2 counties are authorized to resume operations immediately, the Governor is still strongly encouraging those who can work remotely to continue engaging in “telework.” Professional-services operators located in the Phase 1 counties should take advantage of the next two weeks to put in place the policies and practices necessary to comply with the “Phase 2 Professional Services COVID-19 Requirements.”
BERESFORD BOOTH PLLC has made this content available to the general public for informational purposes only. The information on this site is not intended to convey legal opinions or legal advice.