[Updated] New Government safety guidelines for close contact beauty services updated

As the Government gives facial treatments the go-ahead to commence from August 15, the Government has updated its official guidelines for beauty salons, spas, nail bars, make-up artists and mobile/home-based therapists in England on how to safely offer close contact services in their businesses post-Covid-19.

After the announcement that beauty salons and spas can resume close contact services from August 15, the  “Keeping workers and clients safe during Covid-19 in close contact services: Covid-19 secure guidance for employers, employees and the self-employed” guide was updated on August 13 and provides information to help you restart operations at your beauty business.

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.”

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

What treatments can I do?

All close-contact services can resume, including:

• microblading

• eyelash and facial treatments

• eyebrow threading 

• intricate beard work

• facial massages

• facial waxing

• make up application

• Botox

New updates to PPE

Face masks are now mandatory for all those who conduct close contact services, including beauty therapists, hairdressers and barbers. The guidance is also applicable to mobile therapists.

The updated guidlines state that staff "should now wear a face mask (type 2 surgical), in addition to a clear visor that covers the face. This will help protect the customer and staff from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing, or speaking."

What spa facilities can reopen?

As of August 15, spas should continue to keep saunas and steam rooms still closed until further notice, however, the guidelines state that spas can reopen the following facilities:

"Spas may operate any of the following facilities outdoors from 13 July, and indoors from 25 July, providing social distancing is in place: gyms, jacuzzies, whirlpools, hydrotherapy and swimming pools – the government guidance must be followed."

Additionally, the use of changing rooms should be discouraged wherever possible. Instead, clients should be advised to change and shower at home.

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:

[Updated] The Government has delivered guidance on when face masks should be worn by clients in your salon or spa. Read the full guidance under section six

“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.