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Last updated: 15 August 2020

England only: This bulletin excludes areas subject to local lockdowns. See Government guidance on the latest position for local lockdowns: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-restrictions-areas-with-an-outbreak-of-coronavirus-covid-19

In June 2020 the Government added a new section especially for 'close contact services' to its Working Safely suite of guidance. It has been updated several times since.

At the time of writing, only some 'close contact services' are allowed to operate and there are restrictions on the types of service or treatment which may be provided by them.

The rules on which business can/cannot operate are here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance

And the latest Government guidance for close contact services is here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/close-contact-services

This Bulletin is written to help those businesses which are reopening as well as others who are planning to reopen in the future. The Bulletin summarises the key elements of the Government's guidance and provides links to other reputable sources too. It focuses on these types of 'close contact services': hairdressing, barbershops, beauty & nail bars, makeup, tattoo & spray tanning, spa and massage therapy.

The National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) is a valued partner of CTSI and has produced its own reopening guide for the sector which can be obtained from its website, along with other COVID-19 resources: https://www.nhbf.co.uk/home/

This Bulletin will help you make your premises COVID 19 Secure.

COVID-19 - the challenge

COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus. It sticks to all sorts of surfaces, including skin, and can survive for several days - the latest research suggests 48-72 hours.

It passes between people via touch and via the air, so people who are too close to each other are able to breathe in infected droplets and become infected. Coughing and sneezing are thought to be the main ways in which COVID-19 is transmitted.

If touching a contaminated surface, hands can transfer the virus to the eyes, nose or mouth and enter the body, causing infection.

The incubation period of the virus is an average of 5 days and most people will not be infectious until they show symptoms.

There are things that every workplace can do to minimise the spread of COVID-19 amongst its workers, customers and clients, delivery drivers, visitors - in fact everyone who might come onto the premises or be affected by it.

The hair and beauty sector involves workplaces, salons and activities that bring people in very close proximity to one another, often in the head or face area (referred to as the 'highest risk zone' in the Government's guidance). These activities present the most difficult challenges when it comes to minimising the spread of COVID-19 and operating safely. The sometimes unpredictable nature of clients' behaviour adds to the challenge.

What is the 'highest risk zone'?

The area in front of the face where splashes and droplets from the nose and mouth may be present, which can pose a hazard. The greatest risk of transmission of the virus is nearest this zone.  See definition of ‘highest risk zone’ here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/close-contact-services#close-contact-appendix

Returning to the workplace

Talk to your workers before they return to work - they may have concerns. Help them understand the new measures in place to make the workplace COVID secure; this will help to reassure them. This is especially important for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/close-contact-services#close-contact-appendix

Be mindful of those workers who are at a higher risk of infection and consider this as part of your risk assessment. This includes:

  • Older males
  • Those with a high Body Mass Index
  • Have diabetes
  • Are from some Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

See this Public Health England report for more details:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-review-of-disparities-in-risks-and-outcomes and s.3 of the Government’s guidance.  No-one should be forced to work in an unsafe workplace.

Health and safety and risk assessment

Health and safety law requires employers to protect people from harm. This means considering all risks posed to workers, clients and anyone else who might be affected and to minimise those risks to the lowest level they can be. The rules have been in place for many years.

If you have five or more employees you must keep a written record of your risk assessments, including your coronavirus risk assessment for COVID-19 risk assessment and involve them in its creation.
If you have under five staff, it’s still good practice to have a written record of your risk assessments and share them with your employees.

In a salon environment, this is a considerable challenge even in non-COVID times, given the breadth of things you should consider. But the task of assessing the risks isn't usually as daunting as it seems. There are a lot of good quality free templates and resources available these days and this Bulletin will point you to them.

As a responsible business, your risk assessment will already have considered a multitude of things, including the use of chemicals (in dyes for lashes and hair), glues (for nails), machinery and equipment (for treatments) but also things like using cleaning products without damaging skin, or how to safely store products so as not to cause a tripping hazard or whether the lighting for a staircase is bright enough to prevent a tumble, for example.

The NHBF provides templates for risk assessments appropriate in a salon environment: https://www.nhbf.co.uk/nhf-shop/?p=2&type=113

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health also provides a guide to assist salons and spas as they reopen: https://www.cieh.org/media/4309/salons-reopening-guidance-covid-19.pdf

The Health and Safety Executive has lots of good advice on risk assessment too: https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/working-safely/risk-assessment.htm

From time to time you may be inspected by Environmental Health Officers from your local authority (local council). These are highly trained professionals whose job it is to check that you’re complying with the health and safety and licensing requirements applicable to your premises, keeping everyone safe. They will give you advice and may signpost you to templates and sources of information to help you. They work closely with the Health and Safety Executive.

Local councils’ websites are often a source of helpful and free information on many topics, usually tailored for a local audience too.

You can find your local authority here: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council

Enforcement is always a last resort and only usually used for persistent offenders, or those who have the most blatant disregard for the rules or when things go very wrong. Enforcement can mean the service of notices requiring steps to be taken and can also lead to significant fines or imprisonment.

COVID-19 is a new type of risk that must now be assessed too.

From 15th August, all services - including those in the ‘highest risk zone’ - may be provided.

BUT - they can only be provided if they are provided safely.

Your COVID-19 risk assessment is how you decide which services can continue to be provided safely in your premises.

All employers must carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment - this is a legal requirement.

Your risk assessment means assessing the risks from COVID-19 for each service provided and then deciding which steps you need to take (i.e. which ‘mitigation measures’ to use) to make it as safe as possible for the client and for the practitioner delivering it.

Putting sufficient mitigation measure into place is also a legal requirement.

In a nutshell, this means:

  • Think about the virus and how it's transmitted
  • Identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
  • Think about who could be at risk
  • Decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
  • Act to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn't possible, control the risk

Failure to complete a risk assessment (including a coronavirus risk assessment) or to put in place sufficient measures to control the risks identified, could be a breach of health and safety law.

This could lead to enforcement action and may affect your future licence applications (e.g. a skin piercing licence).

Remember that it's your responsibility to keep up to date with the rules

It's a good idea to involve your workers when producing your risk assessment - they are often best placed to understand the risks

Every premises is different and the way in which services are delivered may also be different. This is why your own risk assessment is perfect for you.

Risk assessment templates will help you think about the task, but you must ensure that your findings suit YOUR premises and the mitigation measures you choose to use are sufficient for YOUR circumstances.

  • Your risk assessment should consider the risks of COVID-19 to workers and clients, delivery drivers, visitors - anyone who comes onto your premises.
  • Ensure that your risk assessment for COVID-19 considers every aspect of salon life in relation to COVID-19, not only when providing treatments but also when welcoming and booking in clients, the arrival and departure of staff, cleaning, breakout areas, eating and drinking, receiving deliveries etc. The checklist below may help

At the time of writing, spas should keep saunas and steam rooms closed until further notice.

Gyms, hot tubs, spa pools, whirlpools, hydrotherapy and swimming pools are covered be separate Government guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/providers-of-grassroots-sport-and-gym-leisure-facilities

Managing risk – in practice

These are some of the practical steps you can take to make your workplace COVID-19 Secure.

Your risk assessment should help you decide which are best for your premises, bearing in mind that you must reduce the risk from COVID-19 as far as you can, so you will probably need to follow as many of these as possible, not just one or two of them.

  1. Ensure workers and clients who feel unwell stay at home
  2. Increase the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning
  3. Comply with the social distancing guidelines (two metres, or one metre with risk mitigation* where two metres is not possible)
  4. Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full in relation to a particular activity or treatment, you should consider whether you can redesign or in some way alter the way it's delivered to achieve social distancing guidelines

*The all-important risk mitigation measures are:

  • Increasing hand washing and surface cleaning.
  • Keeping the activity time as short as possible.
  • Using screens to separate clients from one another
  • Everyone working in close proximity to clients for an extended period of time must wear a visor and a Type II face mask (therefore screens between the practitioner and the client will not be necessary).  Close proximity means about an arm’s-length away for a sustained period of time
  • Working from the back (behind the client), or from the side, circling the client
  • Using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible
  • Avoiding skin-to-skin contact wherever possible (unless crucial for the treatment) and using gloves where possible
  • Using a consistent pairing system, defined as fixing which workers work together, if workers have to be in close proximity
  • Keeping background music at a low level will help avoid the need to shout, which could transmit aerosol droplets

Even after re-design or alteration of the treatment or activity, if social distancing guidelines cannot be met, then consider whether that treatment needs to continue for the business to operate.  If no, then stop the activity.  If yes, then….

…the practitioner should wear a visor (which is ‘personal protective so it’s more than a face covering.  The practitioner should also wear a Type II face mask, under the visor.

What is a Type II face mask?

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/close-contact-services#close-contact-appendix

Particular attention should also be paid to avoiding contact with surfaces near to the client and thoroughly cleaning those surfaces after each client.

Remember that no- one is obliged to work in an unsafe work environment.

Vulnerability

  • Remember that your risk assessment should take into account if your staff are especially vulnerable to contracting coronavirus.
  • Remember to think about the needs of vulnerable clients such as those who may not understand your instructions or be physically unable to follow them. Vulnerable clients also include those who may be more likely to contract the virus.

Guidance on vulnerability of staff is in section 3.1 of the Government’s guidance.  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/close-contact-services#close-contact-3-1.  See also Returning to the Workplace, on page 4 of this Bulletin.

Advice to clients (in advance and on the day of the appointment, as appropriate)

These are some of the most likely steps you will need to take. You may decide to let your clients know about them via your usual methods of communication , i.e. by email, text, social media and your website, perhaps when you have a definite reopening date. Notices on the door or window would be a good idea too, to act as a reminder before clients enter the premises.
 
Explain that:

  • It may be difficult to get an appointment at first due to high demand.
  • Services will be by appointment only (not walk-ins), to allow sufficient time and space between clients for additional cleaning and to ask the screening questions in advance.
  • Some services and treatments may not be on offer until further notice.
  • Appointments will be slightly longer to take account of cleaning time in between clients
  • You have put measures in place to protect staff and clients during their appointment.
  • Clients will be required to use hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities as they enter the salon
  • They will need to comply with your health & safety measures during their appointment*.
  • They must not come in if they feel unwell or live with someone who is unwell – you could use a pre-service screening questionnaire for this, sent by email in advance which should be returned ahead of the appointment. Or it could be completed over the phone. See below for some questions to include in a questionnaire
  • You would prefer contactless payments, if not, pay ahead for treatments over the phone
  • Clients should arrive at their allotted time to avoid overlap with others and to attend on their own, if possible, as there will (possibly) be no waiting area.

*remember - the proprietor of the salon has the right to make the rules and to refuse clients who are not willing to follow them

Pre-service screening questionnaire (You can reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 coming onto your premises in the first place by using a pre-screening questionnaire - this is a great way of reducing the risk for all. These three simple questions can be asked of the client at the time of booking and reviewed on the day of the appointment, to help keep everyone safe).

If a client refuses to answer, or if it is obvious that they are not telling the truth, then it is your decision as the operator of the  business, if you want to accept them as a client at that time).

  • Have you had a recent onset of a new, continuous cough?
  • Do you have a high temperature?
  • Have you noticed a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell?

(the taking of a client’s temperature using a hand-held thermometer ‘gun’ isn’t a reliable indicator on its own)

If a client has any of these symptoms, however mild, they should stay at home, contact the NHS via 111 (or online) for advice and reschedule their appointment

Advice to your workers

No-one should come into work if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with anyone who has symptoms. See the Government’s guidance on self-isolating (section 3.2 of Close Contact Services)

Update workers on all the new measures in place, especially handwashing and social distancing

If you’ve introduced queue management or one-way flow, or perhaps altered entrances/exits, explain why this is needed and ensure signage is clear.
Uniforms should be changed daily, ideally on site

Workstations should be assigned to individuals (or fixed pairings) where possible
Breaktimes could be staggered to reduce the pressure on staff areas (if this is an issue).
Advise workers that clients who refuse to follow the rules should be encouraged to do so as far as possible. Ultimately, the operator of the salon has the right to exclude any individual if necessary.

Deliveries

Physical contact with delivered items that have been handled by others, or with those delivering them, can be minimised by reducing the frequency of deliveries (larger quantities and less often?) and scheduling deliveries for outside client appointment times.

PPE, Type II face masks and face coverings - 12 things you should know

  1. A clear visor should be worn when working in a client’s ‘high risk zone’ or when working in close proximity to a client (or several clients) during the day.
  2. A visor provided for a worker in these circumstances is an example of PPE
  3. Visors must fit the user and be worn properly, protecting the wearer by providing a barrier to liquid splashes
  4. They should cover the forehead, extend below the chin and wrap around the side of the face.  They should be optically clear, resistant to fogging and have an adjustable head band
  5. A visor like this protects the wearer (the practitioner). A Type II face mask should be worn with the visor. The Type II face mask is not PPE, but it will help to protect the client and others by acting as a physical barrier to aerosol droplets coming from the wearer
  6. Ordinary face coverings (the kind worn by members of the public in shops and on public transport) are not a suitable substitute for a visor or a Type II face mask worn by a practitioner.
  7. There is no need for a practitioner to wear a visor or a Type II face mask when the client is not having a treatment or service but social distancing should be maintained
  8. Practitioners should continue to wear other types of PPE if required for the task, e.g. aprons and gloves that would normally be used when applying hair dye.
  9. It is important to wear, handle and clean a Type II face mask properly. More detail on how to put on, use and take off a face mask can be found in s.6 of the Government’s guidance, here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/close-contact-services
  10. From 8th August, members of the public are required to wear face coverings in premises providing personal care and beauty treatments. See here for more information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own.  Client’s face coverings should be worn while on the
  11. Help clients to wear their face coverings properly, using notices at the entrance. You are not obliged to provide face coverings for clients but you can control who comes onto your premises. The key steps for clients/face coverings are:
    - wash hands/use sanitizer before putting it on
    - avoid touching the face or face covering when wearing it
    - change it if it becomes damp
  12. Exemptions - remember that not everyone has to wear a face covering if they have a legitimate reason not to. This includes those with a physical or mental illness or disability, or for whom the wearing of a mask will cause severe distress. More on this here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

NHS Test and Trace

Support the NHS’s ongoing work to contain outbreaks by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that’s manageable for you. You may already be collecting much of this as part of your booking system. Ideally, you’d collect the following information:

  • Staff:
    • The names of staff who work at the premises
    • A contact phone number for each member of staff
    • The dates and times that staff are at work
  • Customers, clients and visitors:
    • The name of the customer, client or visitor. If there is more than one person, then you can record the name of the 'lead member' of the group and the number of people in the group
    • A contact phone number for each, or for the lead member of a group of people
    • Date of visit, arrival time and, where possible, departure time
    • If a customer/client will interact with only one member of staff (e.g. a hairdresser), the name of the assigned staff member should be recorded alongside the name of the customer

It’s likely that you will already record this information as part of your booking process, in which case you could simply display a notice on your website (or on your premises), setting out that the data given at the time of booking will be passed to the NHS Test and Trace team if needed, to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Using a notice saves having to inform every customer individually.

If someone asks you not to provide their details, then they are entitled to do so. In which case, do not pass their details to the NHS Test and Trace team if you should be asked.

The accuracy of the information given to you is the responsibility of the person giving it, not your responsibility. This means that you don’t have to verify an individual’s identity for this purpose.

NHS Test and Trace will only ask for your help (and your records) if someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 has listed your premises as somewhere they’ve recently visited.

More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/maintaining-records-of-staff-customers-and-visitors-to-support-nhs-test-and-trace

Cleaning

Along with social distancing, cleaning is one of the most important control measures when it comes to COVID-19 and all your cleaning steps should be considered as part of your risk assessment. The right materials used in the right way, are key.

The Government's guidance on cleaning outside the home (in a workplace) is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings

Allow time between appointments for cleaning seats, surfaces and items which may have been touched by clients or other workers

Toilets and washrooms

These can be kept open for staff and clients providing they are properly managed. Indeed, washrooms are essential for maintaining good personal hygiene. Your risk assessment should take toilets and washrooms into account.

Posters and signage will be helpful reminders for all, in particular, the queuing arrangements (one in, one out? Floor markings?) - and don't forget the likelihood of bottlenecks forming. Hot and cold running water, soap and drying materials too. For the avoidance of doubt, the use of hot air dryers is acceptable. Good ventilation is key, too.

The same arrangements apply to shower and changing facilities, where their use is unavoidable.

Providing extra cleaning and checks on facilities is sensible, including more regular removal of waste generated.

A useful poster on handwashing, from the World Health Organisation, is here: https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/resources/posters/en/

And from Public Health England: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/886217/Best_practice_hand_wash.pdf

Water

A critical element in any salon!

The water system must be considered as water in tanks and pipework may well have been 'standing' for a period of time. Warm weather conditions may have created the right environment for Legionella bacteria to grow (Legionella bacteria thrive at temperatures between 20°C and 50°C). Given the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on people's respiratory systems, more people might be susceptible to Legionnaires' disease than before.

  • Run taps for 5 minutes
  • Raise the temperature of tanks to at least 60 degrees
  • Disinfect tap and sinks areas

See the CIEH guidance on legionella for more information: https://www.cieh.org/media/4208/legionella-guidance-covid-19.pdf

Ventilation, Laundry and Waste

An adequate supply of fresh air in any workplace is important. Good ventilation can help reduce the risk of spreading the virus, whether that's by mechanical ventilation or opening windows and doors (not fire doors).

Air conditioning systems should be set to 'fresh air supply' rather than recirculation.

Disposable gowns and towels, or washable ones that will be washed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, will suffice. No additional temperatures or chemicals are needed. See the Government's guidance on cleaning: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings

Waste should be collected and removed as often as required to prevent any over spilling items. Black bags and usual collection arrangements will suffice.

If someone on site shows symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for it, then other steps should be taken - see the Government's guidance on cleaning, given above.

Mishaps

In an emergency, for example, an accident or fire, people do not have to maintain social distancing if it would be unsafe.

People involved in the provision of assistance to others should pay particular attention to sanitation measures immediately afterwards including washing hands.

You'll already be familiar with RIDDOR reporting
(the reporting of accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences) and for COVID-19 there's clarification from the HSE on when to make a report:
https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/riddor-reporting- coronavirus.htm

What if I get an outbreak?

Your risk assessment should include a plan for this. It could include the following:

  • Who will lead on making contact with the local Public Health Team
  • What are the contact details? See https://www.gov.uk/health-protection-team
  • You may need to provide assistance in identifying contacts via the NHS Test & Trace system

Nearly ready to open?

Here's a checklist as a final reminder:

  • Let your employees know the date and the new arrangements and what they must do to protect themselves and others
  • Plan to manage demand - how many clients can you fit in at a time to meet social distancing? Will you prioritise clients or operate a 'first come first served' approach? What about a 'vulnerable clients' hour at less busy times? Longer hours, shift working? Waiting areas? Allow more time between clients for cleaning
  • Update your website with the new rules and how to book. If you don't have a website, display the information at the entrance to the salon.
  • Contact your clients - see Advice to Clients (above)
  • Risk assessment - carry out your risk assessment and involve your workers in its creation - they may know the job better than you! Share the results with them too.
  • Order equipment and cleaning supplies - make a list and allow extra time for deliveries:
    • PPE (gloves, aprons etc.) and face visors
    • Cleaning materials - are they up to the job?
    • Cleaning equipment such as mops, and disposable or washable cleaning cloths.
    • A steam cleaner if you have upholstered furniture.
    • Clothes washing powder/gel/liquid for towels/uniforms etc.
    • Handwashing soap.
    • Hand sanitiser (which must be 60- 95% alcohol content) for clients to use (team members should wash their hands regularly using soap and water).
    • Disposable tissues.
    • Soap dispensers.
    • Paper towels for washrooms.
    • Bins and disposable bin liners.
    • Additional waste storage.
    • Sterilising equipment.
    • Single-use tools for use where possible.
    • Towels/disposable towels.

Clean, clean, clean!

  • Check everything works:
    • Water systems (see legionella information above)
    • Heating and ventilation systems
    • Electricity and gas supplies
    • Computers
    • Salon software
    • Payment systems
    • Phones
  • Put up notices on the door or window:
    • Your reopening date.
    • Opening times.
    • How to make appointments (by phone - not in person).
    • Advance warning about the protective measures you will have in place.
    • An instruction to clients not to enter your salon/barbershop if they feel unwell or live with someone who is unwell.
    • Display the Government's poster so everyone can see your commitment to your responsibilities https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-covid-19-secure-in-2020-notice
  • Put up notices in the salon as reminders:
    • Touch as little as possible and avoid touching retail displays.
    • Sneeze and cough into tissues and dispose of the tissues immediately.
    • Wash or sanitize their hands, for example, after coughing/sneezing or going to the loo.
    • Pay using contactless. Place a reminder at the till of the maximum amount that can be paid using this method to encourage clients to use contactless.
    • Not to pass on cash tips hand-to- hand - use the containers                 provided.
  • Remove items that clients will handle:
    • Style/treatment example books. (Ensure clients don't handle iPads when showing styles/treatments online.)
    • Magazines and newspapers.
    • Books and toys for children.
    • Product testers.
    • Leaflets and loose price lists.
    • Only allow water to be consumed indoors, no food. Perhaps obtain a water cooler or a supply of bottled water?

FAQ and Links to other sources

England only. This bulletin excludes areas subject to local lockdowns. See Government guidance on the latest position for local lockdowns: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-restrictions-areas-with-an-outbreak-of-coronavirus-covid-19

Q1: What are the rules about clients wearing face coverings and social distancing etc. when on my premises?

The government guidance at the current time is that from 8th August, members of the public will be required to wear face coverings in a greater number of places, including nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers. This applies 'other than where necessary to remove for treatments.'

You and your client will need to agree when it's a sensible moment for them to remove their face covering and when to put it on again. Different treatments will necessarily mean different timings for on/off - do the best you can.

More on this in the PPE section of this bulletin.

The most effective methods of preventing the transmission of COVID-19 are still social distancing and regular handwashing. These steps should still be followed as far as possible.

As the proprietor of the business, you set the rules for clients when they are on your premises, this means you can insist on them you are entitled to ask them to leave.  Remember that you have a legal responsibility to protect anyone on site from harm, so if one customer threatens to jeopardise that, you should act accordingly.

Enforcement of face coverings worn by members of the public in shops and other indoor environments, is carried out by the police. More details are here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Q2: Do I need to close my business if a customer tells me that they have tested positive for COVID-19 after they have been for a treatment in my premises?

The customer should confirm to you that they have been in contact with the NHS Test and Trace service and are following the advice given.

(If the customer has not followed the advice given then contact your local health protection team for advice).

Test and Trace will be interested in those people that the customer has been ‘in close contact’ with during the 48 hours prior to developing symptoms and since developing symptoms.

Close contact means:

  • Having face-to-face contact with someone (less than 1 metre away)
  • Spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone
  • Have recently visited a setting with other people (which might include your premises)

You may therefore be contacted by Test and Trace, so be prepared to provide information about your workers and other customers that may have come into contact with them (see the Bulletin section ‘NHS Test and Trace’).

You will not automatically be obliged to close your business.

If you are working in teams or zones, as part of your mitigation measures, it might be possible to narrow down those who were more likely to have been in significant contact with the infected person, so only this team will need to self-isolate. This is why one of the suggested ‘mitigation measures’ is working in teams, or zones.

Q3: Should a practitioner wear a visor when providing services to clients' hands, for example, a manicure?

Social distancing is the key here. In reality, 2m is likely to be unachievable when providing a manicure for a client, so 1m + mitigation is needed.

In the case of a manicure, a screen of the right size between the practitioner and the client is likely to be satisfactory in most cases.
 
Your risk assessment should assess how the manicure is carried out in your particular premises, to make sure a screen will suffice.

Consider if other services are being provided close by, as additional screening might be needed if distances are less than 2m.

If the risk assessment shows that the activity causes the practitioner to spend an extended period of time in close proximity to a client’s face, mouth or nose, then the visor + Type II face covering may be needed instead of the screen.

Don’t forget to check the list of other mitigating measures too, and put into place as many of these as you can.

Q4: What about having children on the premises?

There are no specific rules about children other than that salons should request that clients keep children under control in order to most effectively reduce any risk of spreading the virus. Ideally, clients will also arrive alone and on time (so as not to cause a queue in reception which will have to be managed – and might require customers to wait outside).

Q5: Should I keep the toilets closed or restricted to workers only?

No. With the right steps in place, there is no reason to close your toilets. Remember to increase the cleaning programme and the checks on availability of soap etc. and to empty the waste more often.

Q6. Can I continue with my 'drop in' system, rather than appointment only?

No. The government guidance says businesses must operate an appointment only system, maintain social distancing in waiting areas and consider moving to a one-in-one-out policy.  You should also keep a temporary record of clients and visitors for 21 days and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed.
When taking bookings, remember to ask the client the screening questions, as outlined in the earlier part of this Bulletin.

If the client has any of the symptoms, however mild, they should stay at home and reschedule their appointment. Contact the NHS too.

Q7. Why should I only offer bottled water or water in disposable cups?

This helps keep things simple. If you continue to offer the full range of refreshments, this generates a lot of equipment which will need washing or disposing of, plus someone to collect it all and handle it safely, generating additional movements around the premises and bringing people closer to each other than strictly needed. If your risk assessment can demonstrate that you’ve thought about all of this and can safely continue to offer a wider menu of refreshments, then continue to do so.

Q8: What about the use of fans in the salon during hot weather?

The government has not made any rules or recommendations about this. Good ventilation is sensible because air changes help remove the virus from the vicinity. Fans used with windows shut could conceivably spread the virus in a closed environment, though the risk is low. Fans + open windows is better. There is more information about this from the Health and Safety Executive: https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/equipment-and-machinery/air-conditioning-and-ventilation.htm

Q9: Should I be temperature-screening clients on arrival using a thermometer gun (a non-contact infra-red thermometer)?

No. Elevated temperature is one of the symptoms of COVID-19. However, it is possible that someone may have the virus but not exhibit any symptoms and their temperature may show as normal.
Add to this the fact that the equipment itself may be untested or uncalibrated or used incorrectly or the readings misinterpreted.

Therefore, relying solely on this is risky. Temperature controls could be part of a screening process which includes further questions about medical history or recording very obvious symptoms – this would all be part of the risk assessment that you use to determine whether a client may be booked for an appointment.

Links to Other Sources

From .gov.uk

Working Safely during coronavirus (CIVOD-19), including its 14 chapters for different sectors, including Close Contact Services (hair and beauty sector):
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19) pages: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Transmission characteristics and principles of infection prevention and control
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control/transmission-characteristics-and-principles-of-infection-prevention-and-control#section3

From the National Hair & Beauty Federation

Website: with links to a Reopening Guide, FAQ, risk assessments and other documentation. Available to members and non-members (some free of charge).
https://www.nhbf.co.uk/coronavirus/

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health

Reopening salons and spas following lockdown
https://www.cieh.org/media/4309/salons-reopening-guidance-covid-19.pdf

Legionella: https://www.cieh.org/media/4208/legionella-guidance-covid-19.pdf

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing: https://www.cieh.org/media/4153/covid-19-health-and-wellbeing.pdf

From the Health and Safety Executive

Website: Risk assessment, communicating with workers, protecting the vulnerable, cleaning, etc.
https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/working-safely/risk-assessment.htm

The control of legionella: https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg282.pdf

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