21 July 2020

This update covers: 

  • England: no restrictions on face treatments from 1 August 2020 (Update: this has been postponed until at least 15 August 2020).
  • England: face coverings not required in salons and barbershops.
  • More key dates and guidance for Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

England: no restrictions on face treatments from 1 August 2020 (Update: this has been postponed until at least 15 August 2020)

The UK government’s recovery strategy states that: 

From 1 August (now 15 August), if prevalence (of the virus) remains around or below current levels, we will take the following steps:

  • Enable all close contact services to resume, including any treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or make-up application, working closely with the sector and public health experts to ensure this can be done as safely as possible and in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines. 

England: face coverings not required in salons and barbershops 

Government officials have confirmed that in England face coverings do not need to be worn by the public in salons or barbershops or for other close contact services.  

People on public transport in England must wear a face covering and from 24 July 2020, face coverings must be worn by the public in shops and supermarkets. 

In salons and barbershops, staff should wear a visor. Clients may wear face coverings if they wish and staff can wear a face covering in addition to a visor, but not instead of one. 

Face coverings in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland 

Wales: the Welsh Governmentstates that “in some circumstances where it might be difficult to stay two metres away from others, we are advising the use of three-layer, non-medical face coverings.” 

In salons and barbershops, staff should wear a visor. 

Scotland: people must wear a face covering in shops and on public transport and public transport premises such as railway and bus stations and airports. This applies to open-air railway platforms, but not to bus stops. 

Face coverings must be worn by staff and clients in salons and barbershops. Staff are recommended to wear a visor in addition to a face covering. 

Northern Ireland: people on public transport in Northern Ireland must wear a face covering. 

In salons and barbershops, staff should wear a visor. 

More key dates for Scotland, England and Wales 

22 July 2020: Scotland 

Beauty businesses can open in Scotland on 22 July. The Scottish government has not provided a list of treatments that can or cannot be provided but has said it is for individual businesses to interpret the guidance and assess the risks to ensure the protection of their clients and staff. 

The Scottish Government’s retail sector guidance states the following

Services offered in the ‘high risk zone’ 

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 in this phase of the Scottish Government’s Route Map 

Good practice 

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 client if it is not crucial for the treatment. 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 users 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. 

The NHBF stresses that if salons, barbershops or individual staff do not feel comfortable doing certain treatments, they absolutely do not have to offer them. 

25 July 2020: England 

Indoor spas are allowed to open on 25 July. However: saunas and steam rooms must remain closed until further notice. 

27 July 2020: Wales 

Beauty businesses are allowed to open on 27 July. The Welsh Government has not yet published guidance for beauty businesses. It has published guidance for hairdressing and barber businesses

Northern Ireland 

Hair and beauty businesses have no restrictions on the types of treatment and services they can offer as long as they have managed the risk. The Northern Ireland Executive is working on close contact services guidance similar to that of the other devolved nations which will be published shortly. 

At this time, however, we have been informed by Northern Ireland officials that: “Ultimately, each individual business is best placed to review their own circumstances, assess the risks to their employees and customers, and adapt as necessary to ensure they continue to fulfil their legal duties under existing health and safety law.” 

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