As salon workers prepare to protest this week for the right to open, a local spa has partnered with an event venue to operate outdoors.

EuroPhoria and the Gardens of Monji had to get creative to stay afloat when both were required to close during the pandemic.

The Gardens of Monji have been empty these past few months, with no weddings, parties, or gatherings allowed. EuroPhoria’s spa and salon closed when COVID spiked again.

“We knew our parking lot or behind our facility was not going to be an acceptable place to our clients,” said EuroPhoria president, John van Tassell.

So, the business brought manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing, and massages to the Monji venue.

“We’ve been able to bring back some of our employees, and we’ve brought back the people on our team who really need to work,” van Tassell said. “We’ve gone to great lengths to purchase all the protective gear for our employees.”

However, moving outdoors has been an unpopular idea among other salons in Kern County due to heat, air quality, and sanitation concerns. EuroPhoria can only operate four hours each morning before triple-digit temperatures take over.

“We also do health screenings for every client, including taking their temperature, having them fill out a questionnaire,” van Tassell said. “We believe in people’s right to choose and make decisions for themselves to be informed.”

Their first week outdoors has been a success, but that could all change Friday as Governor Newsom is expected to make an announcement about reopening.

Kern Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop said during Thursday morning’s press briefing, “I don’t know if there’s a clear understanding that the increased infection rates are a result of businesses opening up.”

Van Tassell added, “we do feel like it would be healthier for us to be indoors because of the increase precautionary steps that we’ve taken.”

On Friday morning, salon workers across kern are banding together for an ‘Open Salons Now’ rally. They’ll be meeting at 7 outside Shannon Grove’s Bakersfield office with plans to march to Truxtun and Mohawk.

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