Covid-19: Government safety guidelines for close contact beauty services released

The Government has released its official guidelines for beauty salons, spas, nail bars, make-up artists and mobile/home-based therapists in England on how to safely reopen their businesses post-Covid-19.

The “Keeping workers and clients safe during Covid-19 in close contact services: Covid-19 secure guidance for employers, employees and the self-employed” was published on June 23 and is a guide to help you restart operations at your beauty business during the pandemic. The Government has stated that the document will be updated over time, which should hopefully give more clarity to larger operations such as spas.

The Government defines close contact services as “hairdressing, barbershops, beauty and nail bars, make-up, tattoo and spray tanning studios, spas, sports and massage therapy, and wellbeing and holistic locations. This guidance is also designed for those who provide mobile close contact services from their homes and in other people’s homes.”

Although hairdressers and barbershops are permitted to reopen on July 4, all beauty services – salons, spas and mobile/home-based businesses – remain closed until further notice.

Read the Government’s full guidance document on close contact services

 

How to conduct the first step of the Government’s Covid-19 guidance for beauty businesses – the risk assessment

To help beauty businesses decide which actions to take, they must first carry out an appropriate Covid-19 risk assessment, done in consultation with unions or workers. “Failure to complete a risk assessment which takes account of Covid-19, or completing a risk assessment but failing to put in place sufficient measures to manage the risk of Covid-19, could constitute a breach of health and safety law,” it states in the report.  

You must share the results of your risk assessment with your workforce and also publish them on your website. You also need to demonstrate to clients that you have properly assessed the risk and taken appropriate measures to mitigate this by displaying a notification in a prominent place in your business. There is a notice on page 10 of the Government’s guidance report which you can use for this.

The measures you will need to make to manage risk in your business, in order of priority, are:

What measures will I need to take in salon/spa to keep clients safe?

How to maintain social distancing for workers in the business:

You need to“ensure workers maintain social distancing guidelines wherever possible, including while arriving at and departing from work and while in work,” states the report. Mitigating actions include:

Measures to take to keep the workplace clean:

What PPE you will need to use in your beauty businesses:

“In workplaces such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons and tattoo and photoshoot 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,” states the document. 

“The person providing a service should therefore wear further protection in addition to any that they might usually wear. This should take the form of a clear visor that covers the face and 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. It should cover the forehead, extend below the chin, and wrap around the side of the face.”

Read the Government’s guidelines “Keeping workers and clients safe during COVID-19 in close contact services – COVID-19 secure guidance for employers, employees and the self- employed”

Industry reactions: 

Adam Chatterley, chair of the UK Spa Association (UKSA), commented: “The initial draft guidelines the Government issued to us as part of the BEIS advisory board woefully under-represented our sector, with little appreciation of the complexity and range of services that we offer. The good news is that now we’ve achieved this essential recognition, we can begin to demand more clarity for spas within these guidelines.

“Our next task is to demand an urgent review of the reopening decision that has been made, with full disclosure on a future target reopening date that the Government is working towards. We will continue to fight on our industry's behalf and we will not stop until we see spas back in business and with the critical support and information needed.”

The UKSA has created its own reopening guidance for spas and salons which businesses can use hand-in-hand with the Government's guidance. 

What do you make of the Government’s guidelines for the beauty industry? Comment below.