Covid-19 guidelines for close contact services in Scotland updated
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.
- Level 0 (baseline) and Level 1: close contact services, including mobile services, can operate in these levels.
- Level 2 and Level 3: close contact services that are delivered from a salon, shop or other static site, such as a home treatment room, can operate. Mobile hairdressing and barbering can continue in Levels 2 and 3, but all other mobile close contact services (i.e. beauty) cannot operate in these levels.
Strict compliance with existing mitigation practices will be necessary for close contact services operating in Level 3 and additional protective measures. Types of additional protective measures can include; increased physical distancing; asking clients to attend appointments alone; eliminating waiting areas; and eliminating conditions which might cause people to raise their voices, like background music.
- Level 4: all close contact services – static or mobile – will be closed. Click and collect services and outdoor retail can operate.
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.”
“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:
- Practitioners should consider remote video consultations in advance of treatments as a way to reduce the time spent with the client/customer
- Mobile practitioners should only meet the client/customer they will be working with. However, a client/customer’s carer/chaperone/attendant can be present if appropriate, and if physical distancing is maintained from the practitioner
- Workspaces should be limited to a single well-ventilated room where possible with any non-essential items removed. The area should be tidy and clean for arrival, with sufficient space for the service to be provided safely. Ventilation can be provided through an open window.
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.”