Rules can vary across the country when lockdowns are imposed. If you have specific questions about your particular area, please contact your local authority. You can find your local authority on the government website. You can also email the Department of Health and Social Care with any queries about local lockdowns: TTDHSCexternalaffairs@dhsc.gov.uk

Find out what financial help is available across the four nations.

Rules for mobile stylists and therapists across the four nations

Clients and face coverings  - updated 29 November 2021

As announced on the 27 November 2021, Boris Johnson has confirmed that from Tuesday 30 November at 4am, face coverings will be mandatory in shops and on public transport, including hairdressers.

Face coverings are required in premises that provide close contact services. Staff and customers should also wear a face covering if close contact services are taking place in someone’s home. Read full Government statement here

What about clients who are exempt from wearing face coverings?  


Some clients will be exempt from wearing a face covering, for example for health reasons.  

Find more information on when and where to wear face coverings.

This may raise concerns for the health & safety of your staff and other clients.  
In addition, the law says you must protect your staff’s health & safety.  
 
You will need to strike a balance between:  
 

Protecting your staff and other clients. 
Ensuring you do not discriminate against clients who are exempt from wearing face coverings.   

 
You must consider if you can make reasonable adjustments so that you can still offer your client an appointment while also protecting the health & safety of others.

 

You will need to show that you are:
  
Taking a reasonable approach. 
Following your risk assessment. 
Making the health & safety of your staff and clients your top priority. 
 
NHBF Members should get advice from the health & safety team before taking any action.  

 

Update: 16 July 2021

In England, the legal requirement to display the official NHS QR code poster is removed from 19 July. The NHBF recommends supporting NHS Test and Trace as good practice. This can either be through the QR code poster or by recording client details. This helps to contact those who may have been exposed to COVID-19.  

 

Please note:

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. The actions the enforcing authority can take include the provision of specific advice to employers to support them to achieve the required standard, through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements. Serious breaches and failure to comply with enforcement notices can constitute a criminal offence, with serious fines and even imprisonment for up to two years. There is also a wider system of enforcement, which includes specific obligations and conditions for licensed premises.

 

England                                                         

LATEST UPDATE: 30 November 2021

‘Personal care premises’ including hairdressers, salons and close contact services are allowed to open.

Mobile businesses should follow the guidance for working in other people’s homes as well as the England guidance.

On Monday 19 July, England moved to Step 4 of the roadmap. Since Tuesday 30 November, the following changes were introduced:

  • Face coverings for staff and customers will be mandatory in shops and in premises that provide close contact services including hairdressers and beauty therapists.
  •   Contacts of individuals with a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant, must self-isolate, regardless of their age or vaccination status.

Requirements relating to signage and information

It is a legal requirement for close contact services to display a notice advising that face coverings must be worn unless a person has exemption with a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering. The notice must be displayed in a conspicuous location, for example, displayed on the front door.

NHBF Members can download Face covering poster here.

Full details of the changes can be found in the Government’s ‘Summer 2021 Roadmap

 

England Operating Guidance FAQs from 30 November 2021

The following applies as set out in the updated guidelines for England

Do I still need to carry out a risk assessment?

Yes. The guidance highlights a risk assessment is important to identify and mitigate the ongoing risks of COVID and other health and safety issues. The NHBF offers risk assessment resources to its Members, which are available here

Risk assessments should be shared with staff and kept updated. HSE provides advice on how to do a risk assessment here.

Failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and put in place sufficient control measures to manage the risk may be considered a breach of health and safety law.

What services and treatments can be provided?

There are no restrictions to the services and treatments that can be provided.

Do I need to ask my clients COVID related questions before their appointment?

Yes. The guidance still recommends asking clients if they have had symptoms or come into contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 before their appointment. It is also advised to turn away people with COVID-19 symptoms to avoid any risk of infection.

What PPE is required?

Since Tuesday 30 November, face coverings are mandatory by law in shops and premises that provide close contact services, including hairdressers and beauty therapists. Staff should follow advice and wear a Type II face mask. A Type II face mask is a medical face mask. It’s made from a protective 3-ply construction.

Clients can remove their face covering during a service or treatments to these areas but should replace them straight afterwards.

Staff and clients should also wear a face covering if close contact services are taking place in someone’s home.

Continuing to take precautions with wearing a face covering will help reduce the risk of infection, avoid potential temporary business closures and staff absences, and ultimately keep staff and clients safe.

Requirements relating to signage and information

It is a legal requirement for close contact services to display a notice advising that face coverings must be worn unless a person has exemption with a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering. The notice must be displayed in a conspicuous location, for example, displayed on the front door.

NHBF Members can download Face covering poster here.

Do I need to wear a visor?

No. The Government has removed any recommendation to wear a visor. A face visor or shield may be worn in addition to a face covering but not instead of one. This is because face visors or shields do not adequately cover the nose and mouth and filter airborne particles.

Are we required to social distance?

Social distancing requirements ended in England on 19 July when the country moved to Step 4. COVID-19 can, however, still spread through social contact.

It is therefore sensible to continue using:

  • Fixed teams or partnering where possible (so each person works with only a few others).
  • Screens or barriers to separate people from each other
  • Back-to-back or side-to-side working where possible

These measures will help to reduce the risk to you and your clients.

Do we still need to support the test and trace programme?

The legal requirement to display the official NHS QR code poster is removed from 19 July. The NHBF recommends supporting NHS Test and Trace as good practice. This can either be through the QR code poster or by recording client details. This helps to contact those who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Do we need to keep the customer’s details for 21 days?

There are no longer specific requirements on the taking and maintaining of client records. For your and your client's safety, the NHBF recommends retaining customer details for 21 days.

Do we still need to operate on appointment only?

The government guidance asks that businesses consider operating on an appointment only basis, however each business can make its judgement based on its risk assessments and hygiene and safety measures.

Should I self-isolate if I come into contact with someone who tests positive?

Contacts of individuals with a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant, must self-isolate, regardless of their age or vaccination status. However, if not the Omicron variant, people who are fully vaccinated or aged under 18 and six months no longer need to self-isolate if they've had close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

If they get any COVID-19 symptoms, they should self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test.

See full guidance

Do we still have to use screens?

Businesses do not have to continue to use screens; however, it is recommended to use screens as it reduces the risk of spreading infection.

Do we need to follow the same cleaning routine?

Maintaining good hygiene standards is good practice in hair and beauty salons and is an essential part of infection control. The guidance still asks you to consider the following cleaning in the workplace:

  • Cleaning work areas and equipment between uses.
  • Frequently cleaning objects and surfaces that people touch regularly.
  • Sanitising any reusable equipment after each appointment and at the start and end of shifts.
  • Using disposable gowns / separate gowns and towels for each client to be disposed of appropriately or washed between uses.
  • Clearing workspaces and removing waste and belongings from the work area at the end of a shift.
  • Referring to the guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings if cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19.
  • Maintaining handwashing, sanitation facilities and toilets hygiene practices.
  • Reducing the spread of COVID-19 through contact with objects that come into the premises.

Can I reopen my waiting areas?

The guidance still asks you to consider advising clients to arrive at the time of the appointment as a way to minimise the number of people coming into contact with each other.

Do we still need to use a new gown for each client?

Yes, the guidance still asks you to consider using a new gown for each client. The NHBF also considers this a good practice.

Do I have to keep windows and doors open for ventilation?

The guidance continues to recommend maximising the supply of fresh air on your premises. Poorly ventilated spaces should be identified as part of your risk assessment and rectified with steps to improve fresh air flow in these areas.

This can be via:

  • Doors, windows and vents 
  • Mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts
  • A combination of both

Maximising the amount of fresh air circulating in your business will help avoid COVID-19 spreading.

Can clients pay in cash?

The guidance still asks you to consider keeping contacts around transactions to a minimum and, where possible, use contactless payments.

Can I now run at full capacity as I used to?

There are no formal recommendations within the guidance on capacity levels. However, the NHBF recommends that businesses update their risk assessment to determine a safe capacity level for their specific businesses premises.

Can I offer newspapers, refreshments to my clients?

Yes. There are no restrictions in respect of food, drink or reading materials. The NHBF recommends that these items continue to be cleaned between uses for the safety of staff and clients.

Can I hold pamper parties?

Yes. From 19 July, there are no longer any restrictions on group gatherings. However, businesses are expected to operate safely and follow the mitigations highlighted in their risk assessment.

How is this guidance enforced?

Enforcing authorities such as HSE and your local authority ensures businesses comply with relevant laws and guidance to control public health risks. From Step 4 on 19 July, local authorities will continue to have the power to place public health restrictions on businesses in cases where a serious and imminent threat to public health is identified. Inspectors are carrying out compliance checks nationwide to ensure that employers are taking the necessary steps.

If they identify serious breaches, enforcing authorities can do several things, including:

  • Sending you a letter outlining the breaches they have identified.
  • Serving you with an improvement or prohibition notice.
  • Bringing a prosecution against you, in cases where they identify significant breaches.

If an enforcing authority issues you with any advice or notices, you should respond quickly and within their timescales.

Can I still furlough my staff?

As of 1 October 2021, the furlough scheme has ended. 

Wales

LATEST UPDATE

‘Personal care premises’ including Hairdressing salons, Barbershops and close contact services are allowed to open.

Mobile businesses should follow the Wales guidance for working in other people’s homes.

The latest Welsh guidance was last updated on 7 August 2021. 

As of Saturday 7 August, Wales moved to Level 0 of the roadmap. The key aspects of this are as follows:

  • Restrictions are relaxed but businesses will have to continue to carry out a risk assessment
  • Face coverings will continue to be required by law in most indoor public places.
  • Physical distancing measures of 2m remain
  • No legal limits on the amount of people who can meet indoors

Read the Welsh Government's guidance for hairdressing and beauty businesses.

 

Wales Operating Guidance FAQs from 7 August 2021

The following applies as set out in the updated guidelines for Wales.

Do I still need to carry out a risk assessment?

Yes. The guidance highlights a risk assessment is important to identify and mitigate the ongoing risks of COVID and other health and safety issues. The NHBF offers risk assessment resources to its Members, which are available here.

Risk assessments should be shared with staff and kept updated. HSE provides advice on how to do a risk assessment here. The Welsh Government advice is here

What services and treatments can be provided?

There are no restrictions to the services and treatments that can be provided on the basis that staff/practitioners are wearing the correct PPE for that specific treatment.

Do I need to ask my clients COVID related questions before their appointment?

Yes. The guidance still recommends asking clients if they have had symptoms or come into contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 before their appointment. It is also advised to turn away people with COVID-19 symptoms to avoid any risk of infection.

What PPE is required?

It is still a legal requirement for staff to wear a face covering in hair and beauty salons. 

A clear visor and/or goggles for treatments not within the high-risk zone (the area directly in front of a client’s eyes, nose and mouth) are recommended as a reasonable measure as identified by your risk assessment.

It is also still a legal requirement for clients to wear a face-covering in hair and beauty salons.

Clients are only permitted to remove their face covering temporarily for high-risk close contact treatments on the face if the practitioner is wearing the appropriate PPE as identified in their risk assessment.


Are we required to social distance?

Yes, social distancing measures remain at 2m. COVID-19 can still spread through social contact.
It is therefore sensible to continue using:

  • Fixed teams or partnering where possible (so each person works with only a few others).
  • Screens or barriers to separate people from each other
  • Back-to-back or side-to-side working where possible

These measures will help to reduce the risk to you and your clients.

Do we still need to support the Test, Trace and Protect service?

Yes, please support the NHS Wales Test, Trace and Protect service. The NHBF recommends downloading and using the app:
This helps to contact those who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Do we need to keep the customer’s details for 21 days?

There are no longer specific requirements on the taking and maintaining of client records. For your and your client's safety, the NHBF recommends retaining customer details for 21 days.

Do we still need to operate on appointment only?

Businesses can consider operating on an appointment only basis, however each business can make its judgement based on its risk assessments and hygiene and safety measures.

Should I self-isolate if I come into contact with someone who tests positive?

You must self-isolate for ten days if you’ve been told to self-isolate by the Test, Trace Protect (TTP) service. This is either because you have coronavirus or have been identified as being in contact with someone who has coronavirus and you might have caught it.

If you have been identified as a contact and live with others, only you will need to self-isolate. You’ll be told that you can book a PCR test online and what to do afterwards.  See the self-isolation guidance.

Exemptions

If TTP identifies you as a contact and at the time of your contact with the infected person, you have been fully vaccinated, you will not have to self-isolate. You are considered to be fully vaccinated if it is at least 14 full days since you had the full dose of an approved vaccine administered in the UK.

If you are under 18 and identified by TTP as a contact, you will not need to self-isolate.

These exemptions only apply if TTP identifies you as a contact. There may be certain circumstances where fully vaccinated people may still be asked to self-isolate by the Test, Trace, Protect service. If you or anyone you live with have the main symptoms, or develop them after TTP contacts you, you are advised to self-isolate and take a PCR test.


Do we still have to use screens?

Where  the 2m rule cannot be achieved, screens are recommended between chairs and at till points to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

Should I ask my clients to continue to wear a face covering?

Yes, face coverings are still required by law in Wales. A client/customer may temporarily remove a face covering to allow access to their mouth/nose area, as long as the person/practitioner providing the treatment/service is wearing appropriate protective equipment as detailed above.

Do we need to follow the same cleaning routine?

Maintaining good hygiene standards is good practice in hair and beauty salons and is an essential part of infection control. The guidance still asks you to consider the following cleaning in the workplace:

  • Cleaning work areas and equipment between uses.
  • Frequently cleaning objects and surfaces that people touch regularly and remove all reading material.
  • Ensure you are following manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning products.
  • Sanitising any reusable equipment after each appointment and at the start and end of shifts.
  • Using disposable gowns / separate gowns and towels for each client to be disposed of appropriately or washed between uses.
  • Clearing workspaces and removing waste and belongings from the work area at the end of a shift.
  • Referring to the guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings if cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19.
  • Maintaining handwashing, sanitation facilities and toilets hygiene practices.
  • Reducing the spread of COVID-19 through contact with objects that come into the premises.

Can I reopen my waiting areas?

The guidance still asks you to consider advising clients to arrive at the time of the appointment as a way to minimise the number of people coming into contact with each other.

Do we still need to use a new gown for each client?

Yes, the guidance still asks you to consider using a new gown for each client. The NHBF also considers this a good practice.

Do I have to keep windows and doors open for ventilation?

The guidance continues to recommend maximising the supply of fresh air on your premises. Poorly ventilated spaces should be identified as part of your risk assessment and rectified with steps to improve fresh air flow in these areas.

This can be via:

  • Doors, windows and vents 
  • Mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts
  • A combination of both

Maximising the amount of fresh air circulating in your business will help avoid COVID-19 spreading.

Can clients pay in cash?

The guidance still asks you use contactless or app payments where possible and consider keeping contacts around transactions to a minimum.

Can I now run at full capacity as I used to?

There are no formal recommendations within the guidance on capacity levels. However, you will need to continue to meet social distancing requirements and the NHBF recommends that businesses update their risk assessment to determine a safe capacity level for their specific businesses premises.

Can I offer newspapers, refreshments to my clients?

Yes. There are no restrictions in respect of food, drink or reading materials. The NHBF recommends that these items continue to be cleaned between uses for the safety of staff and clients.

Can I hold pamper parties?

Yes. There are no longer legal limits on the number of people who can meet others indoors however face coverings are still required in indoor public places. Businesses are expected to operate safely and follow the mitigations highlighted in their risk assessment.

How is this guidance enforced?

Enforcing authorities such as HSE and your local authority ensures businesses comply with relevant laws and guidance to control public health risks. Local authorities will continue to have the power to place public health restrictions on businesses in cases where a serious and imminent threat to public health is identified. Inspectors are carrying out compliance checks nationwide to ensure that employers are taking the necessary steps.
If they identify serious breaches, enforcing authorities can do several things, including:

  • Sending you a letter outlining the breaches they have identified.
  • Serving you with an improvement or prohibition notice.
  • Bringing a prosecution against you, in cases where they identify significant breaches.

If an enforcing authority issues you with any advice or notices, you should respond quickly and within their timescales.

Can I still furlough my staff?

As of 1 October 2021, the furlough scheme has ended. 

Scotland 

 LATEST UPDATE: ROADMAP OUT OF LOCKDOWN

‘Personal care premises’ including Hairdressing salons, Barbershops and close contact services are allowed to open.

Mobile businesses should follow the guidance for working in other people’s homes as well as the Scotland guidance.

Scotland moved to beyond level 0 from Monday 9 August. The key changes are as follows:

  • The legal requirement for physical distancing and limits on gathering will be removed.
  • Some protective measures will stay in place such as the use of face coverings indoors.
  • Double vaccinated adults will not have to self-isolate for 10 days if they come into contact with someone who tests positive. Instead, if they have no symptoms, they will be able to end self-isolation if they return a negative PCR test.

Full details of the changes can be found in the Scottish Government’s guidance and checklist.  

 

Scotland Operating Guidance FAQs for Beyond Level 0 from 9 August 2021

The following applies set out in the updated guidelines for Scotland.

Do I still need to carry out a risk assessment?

Yes. The guidance highlights a risk assessment is important to identify and mitigate the ongoing risks of COVID and other health and safety issues. The NHBF offers risk assessment resources to its Members, which are available here.

Risk assessments should be shared with staff and kept updated. HSE provides advice on how to do a risk assessment here. Scottish Government guidance is here.

What services and treatments can be provided?

There are no restrictions on the basis that staff/practitioners are wearing the correct PPE for that specific treatment.

Do I need to ask my clients COVID related questions before their appointment?

Yes. The guidance still recommends asking clients if they have had symptoms or come into contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 before their appointment. It is also advised to turn away people with COVID-19 symptoms to avoid any risk of infection.

What PPE is required?

A face covering. If a treatment or service involves the removal of a client’s face covering, then an IIR mask (Fluid Resistant Surgical Face Mask) and eye protection (goggles or a full face visor) should be worn.

The NHBF is continuing to recommend that practitioners wear a face covering.

Continuing to take precautions with wearing a face covering will help reduce the risk of infection, avoid potential temporary business closures and staff absences, and ultimately keep staff and clients safe.

Do I need to wear a visor?

Yes, but only in the instance as outlined above when a client has to temporarily remove their mask for a particular treatment.

Can I provide reading materials such as magazines?

No, all reading materials such as magazines and newspapers should be removed.

Are we required to social distance?

No, the restrictions around physical distancing indoors have now been removed.
However, COVID-19 can still spread through social contact. It is therefore sensible to continue using:

  • Fixed teams or partnering where possible (so each person works with only a few others).
  • Screens or barriers to separate people from each other
  • Back-to-back or side-to-side working where possible

These measures will help to reduce the risk to you and your clients.

Do we still need to support the Test and Protect programme?

Yes. The NHBF recommends supporting Protect Scotland app. Sign up for and use the free Test & Protect ‘Check-in Scotland’ digital service: Check-in Scotland - mygov.scot *

This helps to contact those who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Do we need to keep the customer’s details for 21 days?

There are no longer specific requirements on the taking and maintaining of client records. For your and your client's safety, the NHBF recommends retaining customer details for 21 days.

Do we still need to operate on appointment only?

The government guidance asks that businesses consider operating on an appointment only basis, however each business can make its judgement based on its risk assessments and hygiene and safety measures.

Should I self-isolate if I come into contact with someone who tests positive?

At present, if you come into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you should self-isolate. This applies to other staff members, clients or people outside the business.

From 9 August 2021, double vaccinated adults will not have to self-isolate for 10 days if they come into contact with someone who tests positive. Instead, if they have no symptoms, they will be able to end self-isolation if they return a negative PCR test.

Do we still have to use screens?

Businesses do not have to continue to use screens; however, it is recommended to use screens as it reduces the risk of spreading infection.

Should I consider asking my clients to continue to wear a face covering?

A client/customer may temporarily remove a face covering to allow access to their mouth/nose area, as long as the person/practitioner providing the treatment/service is wearing appropriate protective equipment as detailed above.

Should I consider asking my staff to continue to wear a face covering?

Yes, a face coverings are still required by law in Scotland.

Read full Scottish Government face covering guidance

Do we need to follow the same cleaning routine?

Maintaining good hygiene standards is good practice in hair and beauty salons and is an essential part of infection control. The guidance still asks you to consider the following cleaning in the workplace:

  • Cleaning work areas and equipment between uses.
  • Frequently cleaning objects and surfaces that people touch regularly and remove all reading material.
  • Ensure you are following manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning products.
  • Sanitising any reusable equipment after each appointment and at the start and end of shifts.
  • Using disposable gowns / separate gowns and towels for each client to be disposed of appropriately or washed between uses.
  • Clearing workspaces and removing waste and belongings from the work area at the end of a shift.
  • Referring to the guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings if cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19.
  • Maintaining handwashing, sanitation facilities and toilets hygiene practices.
  • Reducing the spread of COVID-19 through contact with objects that come into the premises.

Can I reopen my waiting areas?

The guidance still asks you to consider advising clients to arrive at the time of the appointment as a way to minimise the number of people coming into contact with each other.

Do we still need to use a new gown for each client?

Yes, the guidance still asks you to consider using a new gown for each client. The NHBF also considers this a good practice.

Do I have to keep windows and doors open for ventilation?

The guidance continues to recommend maximising the supply of fresh air on your premises. Poorly ventilated spaces should be identified as part of your risk assessment and rectified with steps to improve fresh air flow in these areas.

This can be via:

  • Doors, windows and vents 
  • Mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts
  • A combination of both

Maximising the amount of fresh air circulating in your business will help avoid COVID-19 spreading.

Can clients pay in cash?

The guidance still asks you use contactless payments where possible and consider keeping contacts around transactions to a minimum.

Can I now run at full capacity as I used to?

The Scottish Government has issued capacity guidance. The NHBF recommends that businesses update their risk assessment to determine a safe capacity level for their specific businesses premises.

Can I offer newspapers, refreshments to my clients?
Yes. Although the guidance recommends clients ‘avoiding touching surfaces that do not relate to treatments’ there are no specific restrictions in respect of food, drink or reading materials. The NHBF recommends that these items continue to be cleaned between uses for the safety of staff and clients. When offering drinks attention should be made to hand hygiene.

Can I hold pamper parties?

Yes. As of 9 August 2021, there are no longer any restrictions on group gatherings. However, businesses are expected to operate safely and follow the mitigations highlighted in their risk assessment.

How is this guidance enforced?

Enforcing authorities such as HSE and your local authority ensures businesses comply with relevant laws and guidance to control public health risks. Local authorities will continue to have the power to place public health restrictions on businesses in cases where a serious and imminent threat to public health is identified. Inspectors are carrying out compliance checks nationwide to ensure that employers are taking the necessary steps.
If they identify serious breaches, enforcing authorities can do several things, including:

  • Sending you a letter outlining the breaches they have identified.
  • Serving you with an improvement or prohibition notice.
  • Bringing a prosecution against you, in cases where they identify significant breaches.

If an enforcing authority issues you with any advice or notices, you should respond quickly and within their timescales.

Can I still furlough my staff?

As of 1 October 2021, the furlough scheme has ended. 

 

Northern Ireland

LATEST UPDATE: ROADMAP OUT OF LOCKDOWN

‘Personal care premises’ including Hairdressing salons, Barbershops and close contact services are allowed to open.

Mobile businesses should follow the Northern Ireland guidance which includes guidance for working in other people’s homes
and you can check for updates here.

On Monday 26 July , Northern Ireland agreed a small number of changes to the rules.
The key changes are as follows:

  • The requirement for an appointment will be removed and overlapping appointments will be allowed
  • Social distancing measures remain - 2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable
  • The use of face coverings will remain mandatory


Full details of the NI Executive’s pathway out of restrictions can be found here: Coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations: Pathway out of restrictions | NIdirect

 

Northern Ireland Operating Guidance FAQs from 26 July 2021

The following applies set out in the updated guidelines for Northern Ireland

Do I still need to carry out a risk assessment?

Yes. The guidance highlights a risk assessment is important to identify and mitigate the ongoing risks of COVID and other health and safety issues. The NHBF offers risk assessment resources to its Members, which are available here.

Risk assessments should be shared with staff and kept updated. HSE provides advice on how to do a risk assessment here.

What services and treatments can be provided?

There are no restrictions to the services and treatments that can be provided on the basis that staff/practitioners are wearing the correct PPE for that specific treatment.

Do I need to ask my clients COVID related questions before their appointment?

Yes. The guidance still recommends asking clients if they have had symptoms or come into contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 before their appointment. It is also advised to turn away people with COVID-19 symptoms to avoid any risk of infection.

What PPE is required?

From Tuesday 30 November at 4am, face coverings will be mandatory in shops and on public transport, including hairdressers. Staff should wear a clear visor or goggles and a Type II face mask. Wear gloves if possible and avoid skin-to-skin contact if not crucial for the treatment.

NI guidance here

Do I need to wear a visor?

The guidance states that a person providing a service working in the high-risk zone should wear further protection in addition to any that they might usually wear. This should take the form of a clear visor or goggles and a Type II Face Mask.

Are we required to social distance?

Yes, Social distancing measures remain - 2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable. COVID-19 can still spread through social contact.
It is therefore sensible to continue using:

  • Fixed teams or partnering where possible (so each person works with only a few others).
  • Screens or barriers to separate people from each other
  • Back-to-back or side-to-side working where possible

These measures will help to reduce the risk to you and your clients.

Do we still need to support the Test, Trace and Protect service?

Yes, please support the Public Health Agency’s Test, Trace and Protect scheme. The NHBF recommends downloading and using the ‘Stop COVIDNI’ App. This helps to contact those who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Do we need to keep the customer’s details for 21 days?

There are no longer specific requirements on the taking and maintaining of client records. For your and your client's safety, the NHBF recommends retaining customer details for 21 days.

Do we still need to operate on appointment only?

No. The NI Executive have removed the requirement for an appointment and overlapping appointments will be allowed. However, businesses can consider operating on an appointment only basis, and each can make its judgement based on its risk assessments and hygiene and safety measures.

Should I self-isolate if I come into contact with someone who tests positive?

People who are fully vaccinated or aged under 18 and 6 months no longer need to self-isolate if they've had close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

If they get any COVID-19 symptoms, they should self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test.


Do we still have to use screens?

Businesses do not have to continue to use screens; however, it is recommended to use screens as it reduces the risk of spreading infection.

Should I consider asking my clients to continue to wear a face covering?

A client/customer may temporarily remove a face covering to allow access to their mouth/nose area, as long as the person/practitioner providing the treatment/service is wearing appropriate protective equipment as detailed above.

Should I consider asking my staff to continue to wear a face covering?

Yes, face coverings are still required by law in Northern Ireland.
Further detail on when and where to wear face coverings in NI.

Do we need to follow the same cleaning routine?

Maintaining good hygiene standards is good practice in hair and beauty salons and is an essential part of infection control. The guidance still asks you to consider the following cleaning in the workplace:

  • Cleaning work areas and equipment between uses.
  • Frequently cleaning objects and surfaces that people touch regularly and remove all reading material.
  • Ensure you are following manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning products.
  • Sanitising any reusable equipment after each appointment and at the start and end of shifts.
  • Using disposable gowns / separate gowns and towels for each client to be disposed of appropriately or washed between uses.
  • Clearing workspaces and removing waste and belongings from the work area at the end of a shift.
  • Referring to the guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings if cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19.
  • Maintaining handwashing, sanitation facilities and toilets hygiene practices.
  • Reducing the spread of COVID-19 through contact with objects that come into the premises.

Can I reopen my waiting areas?

The guidance still asks you to consider advising clients to arrive at the time of the appointment as a way to minimise the number of people coming into contact with each other.

Do we still need to use a new gown for each client?

Yes, the guidance still asks you to consider using a new gown for each client. The NHBF also considers this a good practice.

Do I have to keep windows and doors open for ventilation?

The guidance continues to recommend maximising the supply of fresh air on your premises. Poorly ventilated spaces should be identified as part of your risk assessment and rectified with steps to improve fresh air flow in these areas.

This can be via:

  • Doors, windows and vents 
  • Mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts
  • A combination of both

Maximising the amount of fresh air circulating in your business will help avoid COVID-19 spreading.

Can clients pay in cash?

The guidance still asks you use contactless payments where possible including tips and consider keeping contacts around transactions to a minimum.

Can I now run at full capacity as I used to?

There are no formal recommendations within the guidance on capacity levels. However, you will need to continue to meet social distancing requirements and the NHBF recommends that businesses update their risk assessment to determine a safe capacity level for their specific businesses premises.

Can I offer newspapers, refreshments to my clients?

No. Food, drink or reading materials should not be offered apart from water in disposable cups or bottles.

How is this guidance enforced?

Enforcing authorities such as HSE NI and your local authority ensures businesses comply with relevant laws and guidance to control public health risks. Local authorities will continue to have the power to place public health restrictions on businesses in cases where a serious and imminent threat to public health is identified. Inspectors are carrying out compliance checks nationwide to ensure that employers are taking the necessary steps.
If they identify serious breaches, enforcing authorities can do several things, including:

  • Sending you a letter outlining the breaches they have identified.
  • Serving you with an improvement or prohibition notice.
  • Bringing a prosecution against you, in cases where they identify significant breaches.

If an enforcing authority issues you with any advice or notices, you should respond quickly and within their timescales.

Can I still furlough my staff?

As of 1 October 2021, the furlough scheme has ended. 

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