Coronavirus (COVID-19)

For the latest information please visit our coronavirus pages

Operating a close contact service safely

A checklist of measures to help protect yourself, your staff and your customers during coronavirus

This guidance is relevant for people who provide close contact services, including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors, and fashion designers.

These are the priority actions to help keep your business safe and legally compliant during coronavirus. It is your responsibility to keep up to date with developments, and you should also read the full version of the guidance regarding close contact services.

Steps you must take to protect yourself, your staff, and your customers during coronavirus:

  • Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment, including consideration of the reasonable adjustments needed for staff and customers with disabilities. Share it with all your staff. Find out how to do a risk assessment.
  • Turn people with coronavirus symptoms away. If a staff member (or someone in their household) or a customer has a persistent cough, a high temperature or has lost their sense of taste or smell, they should be isolating and must not be allowed to come into work or your business.
  • Employers must not require someone who is required to self-isolate to come to work. It is a criminal offence to allow an employee who you know is required to self-isolate to come to your premises to work. Ensure that all staff know that they must inform you as soon as they know that they are required to self-isolate, including the start and end dates of their self-isolation period. This includes those who have received a positive Covid-19 test result or who have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. Failure to do so could result in a fine starting from £1,000.
  • Clean more often. Increase how often you clean surfaces, especially those that are being touched a lot. Ask your staff and your customers to use hand sanitiser and wash their hands frequently.
  • Remind your customers and staff to wear face coverings in any indoor space or where required to do so by law. You must also prominently display signs or notices to advise your customers that face coverings must be worn. Some exemptions apply.  Check when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own.
  • Employees must wear both a clear visor or goggles and a Type II face mask while working in close contact services. Clear visors must fit the user and be worn properly. They should cover the forehead, extend below the chin, and wrap around the side of the face. Both disposable and re-usable visors are available. A re-usable visor must be cleaned and disinfected between each client using normal cleaning products.
  • Take part in NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of all your customers, visitors, and staff for 21 days.
    • Display the official NHS QR code poster. Official NHS QR posters can be generated online.
    • Ask every customer or visitor aged 16 and over to check in to your venue or provide their contact details.
    • Have a system in place to ensure that you can collect information from your customers and visitors who do not have a smartphone or do not want to use the NHS COVID-19 app. You must keep this data for 21 days and provide it to NHS Test and Trace if it is requested.
    • Some exemptions apply. Check ‘Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace’ for details.
  • Make sure everyone is social distancing. Make it easy for everyone to do so by putting up signs or introducing a one-way system that your customers can follow.
  • Keep clients apart. Consider how many people can be in the space while remaining socially distant. Rearrange waiting areas so that clients can stay apart. Use floor markings to manage queues.
  • Help your staff maintain social distancing. Consider using barriers between workstations, introduce back-to-back or side-to-side working, and have staff work in the same team each day.
  • Provide adequate ventilation. Ventilation will not reduce the risk of droplet or surface transmission, so other control measures such as cleaning and social distancing are also required.  Providing adequate ventilation means supplying fresh air to enclosed space where people are present. It can be natural ventilation through windows, doors and vents, mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts, or a combination of both. Read the HSE advice on air conditioning and ventilation.
  • Communicate and train. Make sure all staff and customers are kept up to date with how safety measures are being used and updated. 
  • Keep music and other background noise to a minimum to prevent people from speaking loudly or shouting.
  • Consider the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus for yourself and others. The government has published guidance on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19).

These are the priority actions to make your business safe during coronavirus, you should also read the full version of the guidance, available at www.gov.uk/

Testing

It’s important that you continue to put measures in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, including maintaining social distancing, frequent cleaning, good hygiene, and adequate ventilation, even if your workers have:

  • received a recent negative test result
  • had the vaccine (either 1 or 2 doses)

Where you are providing testing on site, you should ensure that workplace testing is carried out in a safe manner and in an appropriate setting where control measures are in place to manage the risk of COVID-19 transmission during the testing process. These include maintaining social distancing where possible, frequent cleaning, good hygiene, and adequate ventilation.

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms can get a free NHS PCR test.