As the national lockdown in England comes to an end, we are now looking at a new set of restrictions intended to help slow the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, we’re looking at more tiers, but hopefully no more tears.
The new 3 tier system will come into play in England on Wednesday 2nd December. The good news is that no matter what tier your local area is in, you’ll still be able to open your salon. This isn’t a return to business as usual, and there will still be restrictions in place, but it is reassuring to learn that salons can continue trading under the new tier system.
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The following businesses have been removed from the tier restrictions, which means if your area moves from tier 2 to tier 3, you won’t have to close up shop. These businesses include, “personal care and close contact services such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty services, massage parlours and tanning salons.”
As the personal care and beauty sector moves towards one of the busiest times of the year, it is reassuring to know that appointments won’t have to be cancelled at the last moment. But there are still restrictions in place that you need to be aware of.
Looking at the official government guidance, there are a few changes to be aware of for this next phase of local restrictions. These are:
The government has issued new advice for those who are considered to be at higher risk that you will need to consider in your risk assessments. This is related to your members of staff who may be at higher risk.
Salons with more than 5 workers need to complete a risk assessment, but even smaller salons may find this beneficial. You may need to review this in light of the new guidance.
As you know, you need to have a system in place to collect information from one person in every party. Your salon booking software should be able to help guide this, as you will be able to see appointment times and contact information. You should also make sure staff shift information is kept up-to-date. You can also use the NHS Track and Trace QR code to allow customers to “check-in” using the app.
There are comprehensive guidelines to follow before, during and after an appointment. You can refresh your memory of these guidelines here.
New research has revealed that ventilation can help to limit exposure to the virus. Thinking about ways to improve ventilation in your salon could be a great way to improve customer confidence.
The guidance on PPE for staff has now been simplified. All staff should wear a type 2 mask and either a visor or goggles. This will help to protect staff and customers and will provide reassurance to the most vulnerable. Your customers should also wear a face mask unless it is necessary to remove it for treatment.
You should have an outbreak plan in place in the event someone in your salon tests positive for COVID-19. If you have more than 5 cases in 14 days, you will also need to contact the PHE health protection team to report the outbreak. As part of your plan, you need to nominate a single point of contact that PHE can reach in the event of an outbreak.
The steps taken by salon workers to protect their customers are certainly working. One article pointed out that salons contribute less than 0.05% of COVID-19 transmission. This is a really great sign and one that should be celebrated. It might not be business as usual for a while, but with multiple vaccines on the horizon, we can start planning for a much brighter 2021.