NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is urging Governor John Bel Edwards to allow barbershops and hair salons to reopen under the state's coronavirus shutdown.
In a letter sent by the AG to Edwards Tuesday, Landry asked that the state's hair and beauty industry reopen ahead of the Stay at Home order's expiration on May 15, under "common-sense and reasonable guidelines" for safety.
The order was extended to mid-May last week.
"We have thousands of licensed cosmetologists in our State," Landry wrote. "These are real people with real families and real problems. Many are independent contractors who have no other source of income and are struggling to make ends meet. They not only want to serve their clients, but they also need to work to in order to put food on their tables and provide for their children."
Hair salons and barbershops have been shutdown since Louisiana's Stay at Home order was issued on March 22. Landry said there is a demand for hair services across the state, and reopening would give customers the choice to get a haircut or stay home.
"The demand side is real, but the supply side has been completely shut off," Landry wrote.
Landry said he discussed the request with the Louisiana Board of Cosmetology and small business owners in the industry.
Edwards' administration did not immediately publicly respond to the request. The governor, who has been holding daily press conferences since the start of the coronavirus outbreak and would likely address the issue during that time, recently switched to Monday-Wednesday-Friday meetings and will not be live streamed on Tuesday.
Landry sent a similar public letter to the governor last week regarding the reopening of churches and places of worship for in-person services, something Edwards announced would be happening in phases later the same day.
Religious houses can hold outdoor services with a limited number of attendees and must practice social distancing. The state department of health and state fire marshal created a website for religious organizations to re-open while following the shifting COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Despite being from opposing parties and Landry's vocal opposition of Edwards' re-election bid last November, the two state leaders have seemed to work closely together throughout the virus outbreak.
As of Tuesday morning, nearly 2,000 people had died from COVID-19 and 30,000 were confirmed infected in Louisiana. About 20,000 were presumed to have recovered.