Re-opening Salons: How to Prepare for Unlocking your Doors

June 17, 2020

Re-opening Salons: How to Prepare for Unlocking your Doors

The British Government has been moving toward re-opening businesses following lockdown. Whilst there have been mixed messages as to when this is likely to happen, at the time of writing the 4th July is being mooted, the key to re-opening when the day eventually comes, is to have done as much work as possible in advance. Please note that there each jurisdiction (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) can set their own timetable and guidance for re-opening, so please take this into account. What we have provided below is based on the current guidance for England.

Here, we look at the steps that you can take to try to prepare as best you can for what opening is likely to look like and what restrictions are likely to be in place for businesses offering beauty treatments, such as microblading.

5 steps to working safely

The Government has identified 5 steps that will need to be taken to ensure that you are ready to re-open. One step relates to working from home, which will not apply to providing beauty treatments, so we have ignored that step. Various guides have been produced, so you will need to make sure you read all the guides relevant to your workplace. Each guide has specific actions for businesses to take based.

As of yet, there is not specific Government guidance for beauty salons, although the Government may produce some in time for re-opening. For that reason, we have looked at what you can do in advance of specific guidance that might apply.

  1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment

Before restarting work you should ensure the safety of the workplace by carrying out a risk assessment in line with the HSE guidance which can be found at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/risk/risk-assessment-template-and-examples.htm

It is best practice to share the results of the risk assessment with your workforce and on your website so that customers can have confidence you are taking their health and safety seriously.

  1. Develop cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures

A major component of preventing spread of the virus is to ensure that all surfaces that customers and staff are likely to touch or be in contact with are regularly washed and cleaned. Because of the serious consequences of not following such a plan, this should be written up and all staff should sign to say that the have read and understood the procedures. If necessary, have a member of staff in charge of ensuring that all procedures are followed. Things to consider are:

  • encouraging people to follow the NHS guidance on hygiene which can be found at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/
  • providing hand sanitiser around the workplace, in addition to in washrooms
  • frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly
  • enhancing cleaning for busy areas
  • setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets
  • providing hand drying facilities – either paper towels or electrical dryers
  1. Maintain 2m social distancing, where possible

Where possible, you should maintain 2m between people by:

  • putting up signs to remind workers and visitors of social distancing guidance
  • avoiding sharing workstations
  • using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help people keep to a 2m distance
  • arranging one-way traffic through the workplace if possible
  • switching to seeing visitors by appointment only if possible

However, the Government are considering whether this distance should be reduced and in what circumstances it might be prudent to do so. This, however, is more likely to apply to being outside, so it is probably worth thinking about working to a 2m rule wherever possible. 

  1. Where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk

Where it’s not possible for people to be 2m apart, you should do everything practical to manage the transmission risk by:

  • considering whether an activity needs to continue for the business to operate
  • keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
  • using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
  • using back-to-back or side-to-side working whenever possible
  • staggering arrival and departure times
  • reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’

 Clearly, protective coverings and masks will need to be provided. These will need to either be disposable or only used once for each customer and then washed- again taking into account how to ensure that the person doing the washing is not exposed to the virus. Other measures to ensure that there is as little chance as possible of spreading the virus will need to be considered, such as not standing directly in front of customers where possible, screening between workstations etc.

Updated advice

We will look to update you where we can, but advice can also be found from the following sources:

Government:

The UK Government has a website with updates on working during coronavirus, including individual guides:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

British Beauty Council

The British Beauty Council works with the beauty industry, government and others to drive excellence and growth across the industry.

They provide information specific for the industry at: https://britishbeautycouncil.com/coronavirus-business-support/

The National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF)

 The NHBF is a trade association for hairdressing, barbering and beauty salon owners.

 They have a coronavirus hub, which can be found at: https://www.nhbf.co.uk/coronavirus/

 Above all, stay safe and we wish you and your families all the very best in these difficult times.