EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Jay “Majors” Raposo doesn’t like what he sees inside his barbershop these days — there’s no one there.
“It’s like a ghost town,” he said of his shop, Major League Barber Academy. “It’s depressing.”
With a closed notice hanging on his front door because of the state shut down due to the coronavirus, his barbers are hurting too.
“And now there’s no work, you have nothing,” said Elio Negron, one of his barbers.
“I have some of my guys who are calling me, trying to find side work and risking to do house calls and stuff; thinking about doing that in order to make ends meet because they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.”
The cut to people’s finances is one major reason Raposo sent a document to Governor Ned Lamont, detailing his proposal for him to reopen barbershops and beauty salons.
He proposed ways he said it could be done safely during the pandemic.
“We will test people and they will be denied service if they have a temperature over 98.9 degrees,” Raposo explained. “We are servicing one client at a time by appointment only — no walk-ins. One family member per shop. We even went so far as doing a non-cross-contamination. All of my barbers have two sets of plastic guards. The decontamination time is 10 minutes for most solutions. While they are servicing one client, the tools would be being disinfected inside a solution, then they will swap them out.”
Raposo also has another idea to sell customers their own, individual cape that they would normally wear during their haircuts.
“They can take it home with them and bring it back every time we provide the services,” he said. “So, it’s also another way for us to make a little bit of revenue for being shut down so long but it provides safety for our clients.”
News 8 tried, unsuccessfully, to get a reaction from Governor Lamont about the proposal. But, the governor has said the earliest Connecticut could reopen for business would be May 20.
He established a Reopen CT Advisory Group and he’s established criteria he’d like to see before any kind of reopening happens. That criteria includes:
- A 14-day decline of coronavirus cases or hospitalizations around the state.
- Mass testing.
- The ability to protect high-risk populations.
- An appropriate amount of PPE.
- Continued social distancing.
Governor Lamont is also on a regional council with governors of surrounding states that’s looking at ways to safely get people back to work and the states’ economies running again.
People at the Major League Barber Academy told News 8 that can’t happen soon enough for the workers whose livelihoods are getting clipped.
“I literally know shop owners who are possibly going to have to shut down after this,” Raposo said.