Northern Ireland have updated their ‘Keeping workers and clients safe during COVID-19 in close contact services’.
The document is to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely and keep your clients safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring as many people as possible comply with social distancing guidelines.
Appointment Only (2.1 Keeping Clients and Visitors Safe)
Close contact businesses must operate on an appointment only basis – no walk- ins are currently permitted. The opening up of the economy following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by Public Health Agency‘s Test, Trace and Protect service. You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your clients and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your business, and assist the Test Trace and Protect service with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks.
- It is important to note that businesses should ensure that any personal information collected is limited in nature and does not go beyond necessary information requirements such as an individual’s contact details and time and date of arrival and departure.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Face Coverings (6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Face Coverings)
Where you are already using PPE in your work activity to protect against nonCOVID-19 risks, you should continue to do so.
In workplaces such as hair salons and beauty salons, barbers, spas, and tattoo studios and photoshoot studios, it is likely to be difficult to maintain social distancing, as employees need to work in close proximity to their clients, usually for an extended period of time. An extended period of time refers to the majority of the working day, irrespective of the number of clients served during the day. The person providing a service (barbers, or beauty therapists or make-up artists as they are the most likely to be working in the high-risk zone i.e. barbers shaving), because of the period of time spent in close proximity to a person’s face, mouth and nose should therefore 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.
Taking of a Client’s Face Covering
- A number beauty treatments and hair/ barbering services may require the removal of the client’s face covering. It is recommended that the client is asked to safely remove and hold their face covering during such treatments.
- A person providing a close contact service as defined in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 must wear, and take reasonable steps to ensure that a person receiving the service wears, a face covering unless:
- (a) a person has a reasonable excuse not to do so, or
- (b)it is necessary not to wear a face covering due to the nature of the service.
Gloves (1.1 Managing Risk)
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.
Access the full guidance here.
Regulations can be accessed here.