Arizona Governor Changes Course, Tells Barber Shops to Close

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday ordered barber shops and salons to close following criticism that too many businesses have remained open during the state’s “stay at home” order to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

Ducey clarified an earlier list of essential services by directing barbers, hair and nail salons, spas, tattoo parlors, and massage parlors to stop operating by 5 p.m. Saturday. His move heeded the pleas of city leaders and industry workers who said the services aren’t essential. Ducey also ordered the closure of communal pools, swap meets, and public park amenities, such as playgrounds.

Nine mayors in a letter on Thursday strongly urged Ducey (R) to shorten his list of businesses and services that can stay open even as people are urged to stay home. The mayors “believe that keeping social locations open, such as golf course clubhouses and barber shops, sends a signal that this virus is not as serious as it truly is,” they said in the letter.

Ducey’s office said salons and barber shops must close because they can’t practice social distancing by staying at least six feet from their customers.

His previous directiveshave stopped cities from restricting businesses on their own. Still, Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans (D) already had ordered barber shops and salons to close. Tucson Mayor Regina Romero (D) stopped short of that but had advised those businesses that they aren’t essential.

Romero said on Twitter Friday that the governor’s shorter list “is the right move.”

Ducey’s clarification changes course from an earlier executive order that listed “personal hygiene” services as essential businesses, citing barber shops and hair salons as examples. Now, that category includes in-home bathing and cleaning care for people with disabilities or for vulnerable adults.

Ducey also listed as essential hotels, respite care, and day-care centers to serve people working at essential businesses.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brenna Goth in Phoenix at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina May at; Fawn Johnson at

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