Beauty salons, nail bars, tattoo and massage studios, physical therapy businesses and spas across England will be able to reopen safely from Monday 13 July under new government plans, announced today.
Updated COVID-19 secure guidance sets out the measures that those providing close contact services should follow to protect staff and customers. Only services that do not involve work in the highest risk zone – directly in front of the face – should be made available to clients. This means that treatments such as face waxing, eyelash treatments, make-up application and facial treatments, should not be provided until government advice changes, due to the much greater risk of transmission.
Where 2 metre social distancing cannot be maintained, for example when providing a treatment, the person providing the service should wear further protection in addition to any that they may usually wear. This should be a clear visor that covers the face, or the use of a screen or other barrier that protects the practitioner and the customer from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or speaking.
The government has worked with a range of stakeholders in the beauty industry to develop the measures close contact services will need to consider to become COVID-19 secure, including:
- using screens or barriers to separate clients from each other, and to separate practitioners from clients, such as in nail salons
- operating an appointment-only booking system to minimise the number of people on the premises at any one time
- keeping the activity time involved to a minimum
- increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning, as well as regularly cleaning equipment or using disposable equipment where possible
- avoiding skin to skin contact and wearing gloves where it is not crucial to the service, such as in nail bars and tanning salons
- maintaining sufficient spacing between customer chairs
- not allowing food or drink, other than water, to be consumed in the salon by customers
- making sure a limited and fixed number of workers work together, if they have to be in close proximity to do their jobs
Business Secretary, Alok Sharma said: "We have been clear throughout this crisis that we want as many businesses as possible to reopen, but we must be confident it is safe for them to do so.
"From Monday 13 July thousands more businesses which offer close contact services like nail and beauty salons will be able to welcome customers back in a way that is safe for both workers and the public.
"Enabling these often small, independent businesses to reopen is yet another step in our plan to kickstart the economy to support jobs and incomes across the country."
Millie Kendall MBE, British Beauty Council, said: "The decision to broaden the scope of available hair and beauty services will allow many more beauty professionals to get back to work, and will also allow customers to benefit from a range of beauty treatments which can be carried out safely for both client and practitioner. It’s a positive step, but we are still only part of the way there. We will keep working closely with governing bodies and supporting everyone in beauty until we are able to achieve the fully-reinvigorated beauty industry we all want."
Helena Grzesk, UK Spa Association, said: "I am extremely pleased that BEIS has published updated guidelines allowing spas to reopen. Spas can be a complex environment to risk assess and understand, simply because we work across such a wide range of wellness sector disciplines. The evidence we provided demonstrated that spas have always operated as semi-clinical environments, and we were happy to work with BEIS to ensure the sector was able to begin to reopen as safely yet swiftly as possible, so that we could get back to helping the nation recover physically, mentally and emotionally post-lockdown.
"I am confident that these new government guidelines will help all spas and salons prepare in detail for a safe and successful reopening, and I look forward to our sector getting back to business during this difficult time."
The guidance also applies to businesses that operate in different locations, such as massage therapists working in people’s homes, and those learning in vocational training environments.
Businesses will need to keep records of staff and customers and share these with NHS Test and Trace where requested, to help identify people who may have been exposed to the virus.
Businesses will only be able to open from these dates once they have completed a risk assessment and are confident they are managing the risks. They must have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with the current Health and Safety legislation.
Employers should display a downloadable notice in their workplaces to show their employees, customers and other visitors to their workplace, that they have followed this guidance.