Covid-19 guidelines for close contact services in Scotland updated

The Scottish Government has updated its coronavirus guidelines for close contact services, which includes beauty salons, spas and mobile beauty businesses. 

In the Retail Sector Guidance document, which includes close contact services such as beauty salons, hairdressers and barbers, it covers the procedures businesses need to take to ensure staff and client safety during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as providing a helpful operations checklist. 

The biggest change to the guidance is the update to the Strategic Framework system (Levels 0–4) and what close contact services can operate within each. See below for further details.

Beauty salons, spas and mobile beauty businesses could reopen their doors on April 26 as part of the Scottish Government’s coronavirus roadmap, while hairdressers and barbers are able to reopen on an appointment-only basis from April 5. 

Some of the key Covid-19 close contact service guidelines on the Scottish Government website that beauty salons, spas and mobile therapists should be aware of:

Take note of the Strategic Framework

The Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework confirms which services are and are not permitted to operate in each level, and your area’s level will determine on how well the Covid-19 virus is being contained. 

More information on each of the levels and how this will affect close contact services is in the Government’s where we are now section of the retail guidance.

Face treatments that cannot be performed from the side or behind or without the client wearing a face covering should not be offered

The Scottish Government states on its website: “The ‘high risk zone’ is defined as ‘the area in front of the face where splashes and droplets from the nose and mouth may be present, which can pose a hazard’. 

“If treatments in the high risk zone cannot be carried out without the ability to be provided from the side of the face or behind the head and therefore require prolonged periods in the highest risk zone then they should not be offered.”


Good practice

“Consideration should be given to what is a safe practice. Practitioners should assess their practice for all therapy treatments they deliver to ensure they only provide safe services. Practitioners should seek to avoid skin-to-skin contact with colleagues and clients if it is not crucial for the treatment,” states the Government’s website.

“Gloves provide a barrier where there is anticipated contact with blood or body fluids and should continue to be used for any treatments where this is a risk. However over-use of gloves leads to contamination of both the user’s gloves and the surrounding environment. Frequent hand decontamination is very important. Alcohol-based hand rub should be used regularly where hand washing cannot occur.

“Good practice involves the practitioner continually moving from side-to-side or from the back avoiding the high-risk zone, inactive periods, and keeping the activity time involved as short as possible.” 


Test and Protect

Test and Protect is a key point for service or treatment providers to be aware of, in particular the additional guidance on retaining customer/client details for 21 days with a view to sharing their contact information with Test and Protect Teams if required.  

Providers should discuss this with clients so that they agree to have their contact details used for this purpose.


Mobile close contact services

The Government has provided a section of guidelines specifically for mobile beauty and hair businesses which need to be adhered to. These are comprehensive and include several factors, such as:

Read the full list of guidance for mobile close contact services here.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

“PPE protects the user against health or safety risks at work. It can include items such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses,” states the Government’s website. 

“Occupations should continue to use any PPE required as per local policies (business as usual) and there are no requirements for additional PPE to be worn. We have developed a checklist that should be considered by close contact business owners as part of a risk assessment.” 

Read the rest of the Scottish Government’s updated guidelines for close contact services so you stay in the know.

Did you know? Government guidance for close contact services in England has also been updated as these businesses gear up to reopen on April 12