“It’s not the professional... sitting in a parking lot surrounded by buckets.”

Vietnamese nail salon owners in Sacramento have expressed their concern regarding operating outside amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

This week Gov. Gavin Newsom declared that nail salons are allowed to operate as lockdowns are being lifted in the city, but must operate outside.

Nail salons, which are mainly owned by Vietnamese Americans, are claiming that working outside could result in health hazards due to wind and dust and the contamination of the manicurists’ chemicals.

Additionally, Sacramento’s heat could be damaging to the health of the staff as well as customers.

Furthermore, insurance and landlord permissions would come into question.

“Are they going to do it in the parking lot? Where are they going to go?” said Lui Nguyen, owner of two Top Coat nail salons in Natomas. Above all, he said, “We have a lot of concerns with the safety.”

Anh Voung, owner of Angel Nails in Little Saigon, said her store operates in a “a high-crime area” and customers would be at risk.

Vera Worlds-Arnold, president and CEO of Ebony Nail Salons on Florin Road in Sacramento expressed concern about the logistics of working outside.

“I have to run back and forth, dumping water. Where do I do it?” she said.

Susie Wong, a Sacramento public affairs executive also highlighted how many stores don’t have a sidewalk and questioned how credible a business would be perceived operating from a car park.

“Most salons don’t have a sidewalk to work on. Their insurance doesn’t cover parking lots,” she said. “It’s not the professional image they want to project — sitting in a parking lot surrounded by buckets.”

In response to the new rules, around 100 Asian American nail salon owners have formed a group called Sacramento Nails Association to encourage state officials to allow them to operate indoors.

In April, Vietnamese-owned nail salons in Alabama donated protective equipment in thousands to hospitals to combat Coronavirus.