[Updated]: Safe practice guidance for close contact beauty services

By Helena Biggs | 14 August 2020 | Movers & Shakers, News

Close Contact Beauty

Following the announcement 13 August that close contact beauty services can resume in England from 15 August, the government has updated its safe practice guidelines.

A document has been prepared by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with input from firms, unions, industry bodies and in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Released on gov.uk, it reads:

“We understand how important it is that you can work safely and support your employees’ and clients’ health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic and not contribute to the spread of the virus.

“Each business will need to translate [this guidance] into the specific actions it needs to take depending on the nature of their business, including the size and type of business, how it is organised, operated, managed and regulated.

“To help you decide which actions to take, you must carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment, just as you would for other health and safety related hazards.”

The guidance reveals that you should protect the health & safety of your workers and clients by working through these steps in order:

  1. Ensure both workers and clients who feel unwell stay at home and do not attend the premise.
  2. Increase the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning.
  3. Make every reasonable effort to comply with the social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable is acceptable). Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full, in relation to a particular activity, businesses should consider whether that activity can be redesigned to maintain a 2m distance or 1m with risk mitigations where 2m is not viable. Consider:
  • Keeping the activity time involved as short as possible.
  • Using screens or barriers to separate clients from one another. As everyone working in close proximity for an extended period of time must wear a visor and a Type II face mask*, screens will not be necessary between the practitioner and the client a they will not provide additional protection. *Type II face masks are medical face masks made up of a protective 3-ply construction that prevents large particles from reaching the client or working surfaces.
  • Working from the back (behind the client) or from the side, regularly circling the client.
  • Unless crucial for the treatment, avoid skin to skin contact and use gloves where possible.
  • Using a consistent pairing system, defined as fixing which workers work together, if workers have to be in close proximity (defined as being within arm’s-length of someone else for a sustained period of time).
  • Only open client waiting areas where social distancing can be maintained.

Face coverings

The document reads: “In workplaces such as hairdressers and barbers, spas, beauty salons and tattoo and photo shoot studios, it is likely to be difficult to maintain social distancing, as employees need to work in close proximity to their clients, usually for an extended period of time.

“The person providing a service (such as hairdressers or beauticians), because of the period of time spent in close proximity to a person’s face, mouth and nose should therefore wear further protection in addition to any that they might usually wear. This should take the form of a clear visor and a Type II Face Mask.

“Clear visors cover the face (and typically provides a barrier between the wearer and the client from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or speaking). Visors must fit the user and be worn properly. They should cover the forehead, extend below the chin, and wrap around the side of the face. Both disposable and re-usable visors are available.

“A re-usable visor must be cleaned and disinfected between each client using normal cleaning products.”

“A Type II face mask should be worn with the visor. Type II face masks are not PPE but will provide a physical barrier to minimise contamination of the mouth and nose when used correctly. Ensure you are hydrated before putting a mask on.

From 8 August, face coverings became mandatory for customers visiting: nail, beauty and hair salons; barbers; massage parlours; tattoo and piercing parlours.

Face coverings should not be removed unless essential for a particular treatment – for example, for a treatment on the face area covered by the mask.

To read the full 43-page government document, click here.