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Boise salon owners seeking clarity on when they can reopen in the city

Gov. Little's plan states salons can reopen when stage two goes into effect. That's expected to happen on May 16, but it could differ in Boise.

BOISE, Idaho — Some salon owners in Boise are frustrated. They say Mayor Lauren McLean's stance on when salons will be able to reopen is too vague and they want clarity. 

Under Idaho Gov. Brad Little's four-phase plan, salons can reopen under stage two, which is scheduled for May 16.

However, in a statement to KTVB Thursday, McLean said, "We fully anticipate that businesses offering close contact services, such as salons, barbershops, and tattoo parlors, will be able to open by June 1, possibly sooner, if we are able to safely move to the state's second stage." 

That means, if all goes as planned, Boise salons could open on May 16 like salons across the state, or they could not if McLean deems it necessary.

RELATED: Mayor McLean explains how Boise's reopening plan differs from Idaho's

RELATED: What is in store for stage 2 of Gov. Little's plan to reopen Idaho?

“The lack of clarity and the uncertainty and the fear that people are coming up with that's where it leaves us, it wasn't yes we will amend the order as long as there's not a surge, it wasn't definitive and it wasn't clear,” said Shelby Bills, owner of Graeber and Company Salon and Day Spa.

She fears this will impact Boise's beauty and wellness industry even more. 

“If we have clients that have been waiting now six, seven, eight weeks to get their services done and then four miles away they can go get their hair done? Are they going to stay on our appointment books, are they going to come back?” Bills said. 

This is not the first time the topic has come up in recent weeks. 

“We will look at the data at the same time and if it tells us that we should move to phase two, we'll look at our social distancing order and determine the steps that need to be taken to allow businesses to open in phase two in a safe way to protect the public health,” McLean told KTVB during a recent Viewpoint interview with Doug Petcash. 

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McLean also told KTVB she is looking at the same data as the governor and if the data shows that close contact businesses can re-open before June 1, then she will amend the order. 

“What does that look like for us? because there are 5,500 licensed stylists, cosmetologists in Boise alone, that's 5,500 families that have to go another two weeks without food, without income,” Bills said.

At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage and the latest COVID-19 case numbers, visit our coronavirus section here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus 

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