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Everyone in Wales has an important part to play in helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus – and this means thinking carefully about the contact we all have with other people.  We are hopeful that the recent firebreak will have helped contain the rising number of COVID-19 cases, but like the rest of the UK, Wales is continuing to experience a public health emergency and it remains critical that all employers, employees, the self-employed and clients take steps to keep everyone safe. Close contact service businesses are under a duty to take reasonable measures under regulation 21 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. We will all need to work hard to keep Wales safe by following some simple guidance to reduce the risk that further firebreaks are needed.

Welsh Government continues to prioritise the protection of people.  We continue to base our approach on the latest scientific and medical advice of the risk from particular settings, the extent to which other risk mitigations are available and in place, and the level of disease-causing transmission.

Close contact service businesses are considered to be amongst the highest at risk settings if they do not comply with their duty to take reasonable measures under regulation 21 to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. We have therefore produced this revised guidance to support close contact services in Wales to operate safely and continue to operate during COVID-19.

This guidance replaces the guidance published on 20 August for Close Contact Services and combines the separate guidance for tattoo and body piercing businesses.  

The guidance has been revised to provide updated advice following the end of the firebreak in Wales on 9 November. It covers:

  • The legal requirement for people who have tested positive or have come in to close contact with someone who has had a positive test for coronavirus to self-isolate when told to do so by NHS Wales Test, Trace and Protect;
  • The legal requirement for businesses operating in high risk settings to collect contact information from their clients and visitors.  
  • The requirement for people to wear face coverings in all indoor public places.
  • The latest advice to people who were shielding.
  • Advice on the financial support available as a consequence of  COVID-19.
  • Enforcement measures and consequences of not complying with the legal requirements

We would also wish to:

  • remind close contact service businesses that they are under a duty to take reasonable measures under regulation 21 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus;
  • reinforce Public Health Wales strong advice that you do not undertake face to face high risk treatments which are extremely difficult to carry out safely both for the practitioner and the client without the appropriate grade PPE.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 4) (Wales) Regulations 2020 have been made “in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health which is posed by the incidence and spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Wales”.  The enforcement of the requirements imposed by the Regulations is important to: 

  • promote and maintain sustained compliance as a preventative measure to help contain the coronavirus; 
  • ensure action is taken immediately to deal with situations in which there is a risk of coronavirus spreading;
  • ensure that those who fail to comply are held to account. 

Contents

About this guidance

Section 1. What you should do before you reopen your business

1.1 Assessment of premises - making sure premises are safe to reopen.

1.2 Thinking about Risk - All employers must carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment.

1.3 What will happen if you do not comply with regulation 21 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 and the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control COVID -19 and other public health risks?

1.4 Managing risk – taking action to reduce risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures, in order of risk of infection.

1.5 Sharing the results of your risk assessment

Managing the risk

Section 2. What you should do to keep yourself and your staff safe from COVID-19

2.1 Who should go to work?

 2.2 Protecting people who are defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 and at higher risk

2.3 People who need to self-isolate.

2.4 Equality in the workplace – your responsibility to make sure that nobody is discriminated against.

2.5 Workforce management – organising shift patterns and working groups to reduce the number of contact each worker has.

2.6 Work related travel - avoid unnecessary work travel and keep people safe when they do travel between locations.  

2.7 Communications and Training – making sure all workers understand COVID-19 related safety procedures and are kept up to date with how safety measures are being implemented or updated

Physical distancing

2.8. Physical distancing for workers – making sure employees maintain social distancing guidelines

2.8.1 Maintaining physical distancing while coming to work and leaving work

2.8.2 Moving around salons, premises and other people’s homes - maintaining physical distancing as far as possible while people travel through the workplace.

2.8.3 Workplaces and workstations - maintaining physical distancing between individuals when they are at their workstations.

2.8.4 Common Areas - maintaining physical distancing while using common areas.

2.8.5 Accidents, security and other incidents

Section 3: What you should do to keep your clients and visitors safe – minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19

3.1 Close contact services that can be provided safely wearing a type II mask and a clear visor  during COVID-19

3.2 High risk close contact treatments on the face, which are extremely difficult to carry out safely during COVID-19, for both the practitioner and the client without the appropriate PPE under the current guidelines. 

3.3 The requirement for staff and clients to wear face coverings whilst they are in your business premises

3.4 Spas

3.5 Booking appointments and recording the clients contact details and details measures that will keep people safe and allow us to track the virus. 

3.6 Client toilets – ensure and promote good hygiene, physical distancing, and cleanliness in toilet facilities.

3.7 Providing and explaining available guidance – making sure people understand what they need to do to maintain safety.

3.8 Receiving and dispatching goods and products – maintaining physical distancing and avoid spreading the virus on surfaces when goods enter and leave the premises.

Cleaning

Section 4: What you should do to keep your business premises and workplaces free of COVID-19.   

4.1 Cleaning the workplace – making sure that any site or location that has been closed or partially operated is clean and ready to restart 

4.2 Keeping the workplace clean – preventing spreading the virus by touching and contaminating surfaces

4.3 Hygiene (handwashing, sanitation facilities) – help everyone keep good hygiene through the working day

4.4 Changing rooms and showers – minimising the risk of spreading the virus in changing rooms and showers.

4.5 Handling products goods and other materials – reducing the spread of the virus through contact with objects in the premises.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and face coverings  

Section 5: The use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and face coverings  

5.1 Guidance on how to put on, wear and remove a Type II face mask safely.

5.2 PPE for ‘high risk’ treatments on the face.

5.3 Face coverings

Test, Track and Protect Service

Section 6: The use of the NHS Wales Test, Track and Protect Service

Appendixes published on the website alongside this guidance:

  • a restart risk assessment template for close contact service businesses.
  • a check list to help you work through this guidance.

When practitioners read this they will assume that this is appropriate in all circumstances they work in, you either need to qualify this with ‘When you can maintain the 2m rule during you working day or add they requirement that when the 2m cannot be maintained i.e. when you are providing a treatment or procedure then a FRSM and suitable eye protection should be worn (either goggles or a full face visor).

Section 7: Financial Options available if you are getting less work or no work because of COVID-19

About this guidance

This document is to help practitioners who work in the close contact service industry in Wales to continue to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, the reasonable measures to minimise risk of exposure to coronavirus and the enforcement measures that can be taken by local authority environmental health officers if the person responsible for the premises does not take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus on premises or in the workplace.  

This guidance is aimed at the following close contact practitioners:  

  • hairdressers and barbers;
  • beauty therapists;
  • beauty advanced practices treatment practitioners;
  • make-up artists;
  • nail service technicians;
  • aesthetics, holistic, wellbeing and other practitioners;
  • acupuncture and  electrocautery practitioners;
  • massage therapists including sports and clinical massage therapists
  • tattoo and body piercing practitioners

who operate in:  

  • Commercial settings such as a hair and or beauty salon, nail bar, makeup studio, tattoo and body piercing studios and tanning salon;
  • Well-being and holistic settings, specialist or aesthetics salons or clinics;
  • Destination spas, within a hospitality, leisure or day spa environment;
  • Retail environments (retail stores) and the arts;
  • Vocational training environments and 
  • Provide mobile services from their homes and in other people’s homes;

This guidance is based on government guidelines and contains advice on how the safe working steps set out in this document should be put in place in your business premises or the settings in which you are providing your services or treatments.  The Government has published Statutory Guidance to which all individuals and businesses subject to the new duties to minimise risk of exposure to coronavirus must have regard.  You should ensure that you are aware of the guidance as well as keeping aware of any further regulatory changes.

In the event of any discrepancy between this guidance and the Statutory Guidance, the Statutory Guidance has priority.

This guidance builds on these requirements with practical advice for your specific circumstances to help you think about what you need to do during the COVID-19 pandemic to work safely and support your employees’ and clients’ health and wellbeing and not contribute to the spread of the virus.

This guidance does not supersede any legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities and it is important that as a business or an employer you continue to comply with your existing obligations, including those relating to individuals with protected characteristics.

We expect that this document will be updated over time. This version is up to date as of 09 November 2020. You can check for updates at Keep Wales Safe – at work.

This document advises how to re-open your businesses safely while minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19.

In order for you to reopen you must take appropriate steps to safeguard against COVID-19 in the following 5 essential areas.   The guidance sets out:

  1. what you should do before you reopen your business; 
  2. what you should do to protect yourself and your staff
  3. what you should do to protect your clients and visitors;
  4. what you should do to keep your business premises clear of COVID-19.
  5. the circumstances when you should use PPE and the requirement to wear face coverings in all public places.

Each business will need to translate this into the specific actions it needs to take, depending on the size of the business, how it is organised, operated, managed and regulated. Businesses will also need to regularly monitor these measures to make sure they are continuing to protect clients and workers.

You should note that when operational you will be under a duty to take all reasonable measures to ensure 2 meters’ distance is kept between persons, to take any other measure to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus, for example measures which limit close face to face interaction and maintain hygiene and to provide information to anyone on your premises on how to minimise that risk

It is accepted that as a close contact service you will not be able to maintain 2 metres’ distancing with a client, but you will be required to take other measures to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus. There will be other circumstances, where you will be able to take reasonable measures to ensure distance is kept, for example, when clients are waiting to enter premises.

To help you decide which actions to take, you must carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment, just as you would for other health and safety related hazards.  This risk assessment must be done in consultation with unions or workers.  

A blank risk assessment template produced by the National Hair and Beauty Federation has been published on the website alongside this guidance together with a check list to help you introduce the mitigation measures contained in this guidance.

Reopening your business

Section 1. What you should do before you reopen your business

1.1 Assessment of premises - making sure premises are safe to reopen

You need to be mindful of the need to open up premises carefully. Business premises are not often left empty and you may wish to see the advice on maintaining drinking water quality when reinstating water supplies after temporary closure due to the COViD-19 outbreak, produced by the Drinking Water Inspectorate who are the Regulators and technical experts to everything drinking water related in England and Wales.

You should undertake an assessment for all your sites, or parts of sites that have been closed, before reopening your premises, this will include undertaking a thorough cleaning of the premises and installing hand sanitisers, before reopening.  

1.2 Thinking about Risk - All employers must carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment.

COVID-19 is a public health emergency. Everyone needs to assess and manage the risks of COVID-19, and businesses must consider the risks to their workers and clients.

As an employer, you have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety. This means you need to think about the risks they face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them, recognising you cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19.

You must make sure that the risk assessment for your business addresses the risks of COVID-19, using this guidance to inform your decisions and control measures.

You should also consider the security implications of any decisions and control measures you intend to put in place, as any revisions could present new or altered security risks that may require mitigation. A risk assessment is not about creating huge amounts of paperwork, it is about identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace.

If you have fewer than five workers, or are self-employed, you don’t have to write anything down as part of your risk assessment. Your risk assessment will help you decide whether you have done everything you need to. There are interactive tools available to support you from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and HSE: What to include in your COVID-19 risk assessment.

A Restart Risk Assessment for Close Contact Services template checklist, produced by the National Hair and Beauty Federation for your use when conducting your risk assessment has been published alongside this guidance document.  

Employers have a duty to consult their staff on health and safety. You can do this by listening and talking to them about the work and how you will manage risks from COVID-19.

The people who do the work are often the best people to understand the risks in the workplace and will have a view on how to work safely.  Involving them in making decisions shows that you take their health and safety seriously. You must consult with the health and safety representative selected by a recognised trade union or, if there isn’t one, a representative chosen by workers. As an employer, you cannot decide who the representative will be.

At its most effective, full involvement of your workers creates a culture where relationships between employers and workers are based on collaboration, trust and joint problem solving.  As is normal practice, workers should be involved in assessing workplace risks and the development and review of workplace health and safety policies in partnership with the employer.

Employers and workers should always come together to resolve issues.  

You should develop communication and training materials for workers prior to returning to site, especially around new procedures for arrival at work.

1.3 What will happen if you do not comply with regulation 21 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 and the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control COVID -19 and other public health risks?

Failure to complete a risk assessment which takes account of COVID-19, or completing a risk assessment but failing to put in place sufficient measures to manage the risk of COVID-19, could constitute a breach of health and safety law. 

Where the enforcing  local authority, identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks, they are empowered to take a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. For example, this would cover employers not taking appropriate reasonable measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Enforcement powers and principles of enforcement 

The Regulations set out a specific and separate system for enforcing regulation 21(2). This provides that enforcement officers (generally appointed by local authorities) can require certain (specified) measures to be taken in relation to premises, and they can issue Improvement Notices. If an Improvement notice is not complied with or if the breach of the duties imposed by Regulation 21(2) has been sufficiently serious so as to justify closure, then closure of the relevant business premises can be required.   Failure to comply with the legal requirements imposed on businesses by the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 4) (Wales) Regulations 2020 will mean that the business is breaking the law and accordingly, a fixed penalty fine can be imposed.

The enforcement system is set out in Schedules 3 and 4 to the Regulations and centres around a “Premises Improvement Notice” or a “Premises Closure Notice” or both, depending on the circumstances.

Guidance to enforcement officers on regulation part 7 of the Regulations.

The appropriate use of powers to enforce these restrictions and requirements imposed by the Regulations is important to: 

  • promote and maintain sustained compliance as a preventative measure to help contain the coronavirus; 
  • ensure action is taken immediately to deal with situations in which there is a risk of coronavirus spreading; and
  • ensure that those who fail to comply are held to account.

If people don’t comply premises can be closed down for a period of up to 14 days.

The Regulations set out a right of appeal against an improvement notice or closure notice to the magistrates’ court.  They can award compensation, for example, if they consider a premises wrongfully closed, but they can also uphold the notice.  Generally the issue of a closure notice will mean that the premises remain closed until the appeal is heard, and will remain so if the court upholds the notice.

In the event of an improvement notice being issued that notice must be displayed in a prominent place at each entrance to the premises, as well as a sign as prescribed in Schedule 4 to the Regulations indicating that the notice has been issued and improvement is needed.  Similarly a closure notice and accompanying sign must also be displayed if such a notice has been issued indicating that the premises have been closed.

Who enforces the restrictions? 

The restrictions are being enforced by local authority environmental health officers. They can issue the improvement or closure notices and, if a closure notice is not complied with they may recommend prosecution in a magistrates’ court.

What are the financial penalties?

Clearly there is a financial implication for any business which is required to close. Which is why that action will not be taken likely. However where closure is thought by an environmental health officer to be necessary to protect the public, a closure notice will be issued.

The coronavirus regulations state that failure to comply with a closure notice is a criminal offence.  It is punishable by a fine and there is no limit on the amount of fine that may be imposed.

It is also an offence to enter premises that are closed under a closure notice (unless there is a reasonable excuse to do so) or to remove, damage or obstruct a notice or sign on display at premises where an improvement or closure notice is in force.  Again, these offences are punishable by a fine but in addition, an enforcement officer may issue a fixed penalty of £60; this is increased to £120 for a second offence and continues to double for repeated offences, up to a maximum of £1,920.

1.4 Managing risk - taking action to reduce risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures, in order of priority.

Employers have a duty to reduce workplace risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures. Employers must work with any other employers or contractors sharing the workplace so that everybody's health and safety is protected. In the context of COVID-19 this means protecting the health and safety of your workers and clients by working through these steps in order:

  • Ensuring both workers and clients who feel unwell stay at home and do not attend the premises.
  • In every workplace, increasing the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning.
  • Businesses should take all reasonable measures to ensure 2 metres distance is kept between persons, to take any other measure to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus, and where it is not possible to maintain 2 metres distancing with a client, to take other measures to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus. You should consider and set out the mitigating actions you will introduce in your risk assessments. When providing close contact services, it often may not be possible to maintain 2 metre distancing. You should follow the latest scientific advice which is to wear a Type II mask (as source control - to protect the client from the practitioner) and  a clear visor (to protect the practitioner from the client) in addition to the PPE that might usually be worn . It should be noted that Type II masks are not clinical grade PPE.
  • Close contact service practitioners should recognise that they are considered to be amongst the highest at risk settings if they do not comply with their duty to take reasonable measures under regulation 21 to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. It is for this reason that  Public Health Wales strongly advise that close contact practitioners in Wales should not carry out treatments that will bring them within the ‘highest risk zone’ of clients (defined as the area in front of the face where aerosols and droplets from the nose and mouth, caused by, breathing, speaking, coughing or sneezing that can be present and pose a hazard from the client to the practitioner and vice versa) for the entire duration or the majority of the time the close contact service is being provided unless they are wearing the appropriate grade PPE. ‘High risk zone’ treatments are covered in section 3.2. 
Further mitigating actions include:
  • Further increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning.
  • Keeping the activity time involved as short as possible.
  • Using screens or barriers to separate clients from one another. If the practitioner is wearing a visor, screens will not provide additional protection between the practitioner and the individual.  Everyone working in close proximity to each other for an extended period of time should wear a Type II mask and a clear visor.
  • Face-to-face working should be avoided if at all possible.
  • Using a consistent buddying system, defined as fixing which workers work together, if workers have to be in close proximity (defined as being within arm’s-length of someone else for a sustained period of time).
  • The closer someone is to the source of the virus, the greater the risk of transmission. If members of your staff must work face-to-face with each other for a sustained period with more than a small group of fixed partners, then you will need to assess whether the activity can safely go ahead. No one is obliged to work in an unsafe work environment.  
  • Particular attention should also be paid to avoiding contact with surfaces near to the client and thoroughly cleaning those surfaces after each client.
  • In your assessment you should have particular regard to whether the people doing the work are especially vulnerable to COVID-19. The recommendations in the rest of this document are ones you must consider as you go through this process.
  • You could also consider any advice that has been produced specifically for your sector, for example by industry associations. You must carry out an assessment of the risks posed by COVID-19 in your workplace before you reopen your business. You are likely to have gone through a lot of this thinking already however we urge you to use this document to identify any further improvements you should make.
  • You must review the measures you have put in place to make sure they are working. You should also review them if they may no longer be effective or if there are changes in the workplace that could lead to new risks.

1.5 Sharing the results of your risk assessment

  • You must share the results of your risk assessment with your workforce.
  • If possible, you should consider publishing the results on your website; we would expect all employers with over 50 workers to do so.
  • We would expect all businesses to demonstrate to their workers, clients and guests that they have properly assessed their risk and taken appropriate measures to mitigate this. You should do this by displaying a notification in a prominent place in your business and on your website, if you have one.

Managing the risk

Section 2. What you should do to keep yourself and your staff safe from COVID-19  

When considering how to apply this guidance, take into account agency workers, contractors and other people, as well as your employees. The health and safety of workers and clients, and public health, should not be put at risk.

The coronavirus restrictions impose obligations on people responsible for premises where work takes place to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. 

Equally employees have a legal responsibility to their employer and to each other to follow instructions about safe working practices.

Welsh government expects that businesses and others understand the severity of the situation we are facing as a society and will take the reasonable steps necessary.

We encourage employers and workers to always come together to resolve issues, however, we are clear that workers should not be forced into an unsafe workplace and if an individual remains concerned about the safety measures in any premises, then they should report this to the Public Protection services of the relevant local authority.

This document has been prepared by the Welsh Government with input from unions and industry bodies and Local Authority Environmental Health Officers and in consultation with Public Health Wales (PHW) Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

People providing mobile close contact services in other people's homes, should also refer to the guidance on working safely during COVID-19 in other people’s homes

2.1 Who should go to work?

In order to keep the virus under control, it is important that people work safely. Working from home remains remains the safest way to do this, however it is recognised that for most workers providing these services, it is often not possible to work from home.

People who can work from home for example those providing back office functions, should continue to do so.

Employers should consult with their employees to determine who can come into the workplace safely taking account of a person’s journey, caring responsibilities, protected characteristics, and other individual circumstances. The decision to return to the workplace must be made in meaningful consultation with workers (including through trade unions or employee representative groups where they exist). A meaningful consultation means engaging in an open conversation about returning to the workplace before any decision to return has been made. This should include a discussion of the timing and phasing of any return and any risk mitigations that have been implemented. It is vital employers engage with workers to ensure they feel safe returning to work, and they should not force anyone into an unsafe workplace.

When employers consider that workers should come into their place of work, then this will need to be reflected in the COVID-19 workplace risk assessment and actions taken to manage the risks of transmission in line with this guidance.  It is impossible to eliminate all risk but there is a lot that employers can do to minimise the risk to their employees. There is advice at Workplace guidance for employers and employees: COVID-19 and information on the Health and Safety Executive website.

Extra consideration should be given to those people at increased risk.  Some groups of people may be at more risk of being infected and/or an adverse outcome if infected. View higher-risk groups.

 and include those who:

  • are older
  • have a high body mass index (BMI)
  • have certain underlyinghealth conditions
  • are from some Black, Asian or minority ethnicity (BAME) backgrounds
  • you should consider this in your risk assessment.

People who were shielding

There are no plans to resume shielding at this time.  The situation has changed since start of the pandemic when there were no measures in any sector of society to reduce the spread of the virus and no rules or regulations in place. Now, with consistent measures in place, asking people to shield at home again is not the best option at this point in time as it could cause harm to people’s mental and physical health.

The advice for the shielded population is the same for everyone; 

  • Minimise contacts with other people;
  • Keep a 2 metre distance from others and wash hands regularly;
  • Wear a face covering where required and avoid touching surfaces others have touched, wherever possible.
  • Consider what time of day you go out  and where you are going i.e. avoiding shops at peak times;
  • Where possible you should work from home.

You should monitor the well-being of people who are working from home and help them stay connected to the rest of the workforce, especially if the majority of their colleagues are on-site. You should discuss whether they have a need to return to their workplace for the sake of their well-being.

You should keep in touch with off-site workers on their working arrangements including their welfare, mental and physical health and personal security.

You should provide equipment for people to work from home safely and effectively. For administrative roles, this may include access to work systems.  

Tattoo and body piercing clinets who have been shielding of have underlying health conditions

In the case of clients who have previously been shielded or have underlying health conditions, in relation to the increased risk of acquiring COVID-19 infection from having a tattoo or body piercing, the client should seek advice from the GP or consultant but ultimately the decision to have either procedure should be the client’s choice.

However, if the practitioner is in any doubt that the procedure the client has requested could compromise their health they should advise against the procedure. Ultimately it is the practitioner who has a responsibility to risk assess the circumstances of individual clients.

2.1.1 Protecting people who are defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.  

2.2 Information has also been provided for People extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 who have been shielding: FAQs

Whilst the level of coronavirus cases remain high across Wales,it is important for people in this category to work from home if at all possible- and where this can be achieved, roles should be adapted to support this.

If extremely vulnerable individuals cannot work from home, they should be offered the option of the safest available on-site roles, ensuring that their workplace environment is COVID-secure and are able to maintain the required 2 metre distance away from others. If you are unable to maintain a 2 metre distance from others you should carefully assess whether this activity should continue.  If so, further mitigating actions should be taken to reduce the risk of transmission between staff (see Section 2.8 for examples of actions that can be taken).  

As for any workplace risk you must take into account specific duties for those with protected characteristics, including, for example, expectant mothers who are, as always, entitled to suspension on full pay if suitable roles cannot be found. Particular attention should also be paid to people who live with  individuals at increased risk.

2.3 People who need to self-isolate

People who have tested positive or have come in to close contact with someone who has had a positive test for coronavirus will be required by law to self-isolate when told to do so by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect. Failure to do so can lead to the individual being issued with a fixed penalty notice or criminal prosecution.  Whilst there is no legal duty being placed on them, people should also self-isolate if they are notified by the NHS Covid-19 App.  

Self-isolation will require the individual to stay home and limit all unnecessary contact with others outside of their household. This includes not going to work. This is to ensure people who have tested positive for COVID-19 prevent passing it on to their friends, family and wider community, including their work colleagues.

You must make sure that any employees who have been required by law to self-isolate when told to do so by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect do not physically come to work.

You should also make sure that any employees who have symptoms of COVID-19 those who live in a household or are in an extended household with someone who has symptoms and those who are advised to self-isolate as part of the government's test and trace service. The COVID-19 online symptom checker (on NHS 111 Wales) can tell you if you need medical help.

The steps you should take:

  • Enable workers to work from home while self-isolating if appropriate.
  • See current guidance for employees and employers relating to statutory sick pay due to COVID-19.
  • Ensuring both workers and clients who feel unwell stay at home and do not attend the workplace or location where the service is being provided.
  • If they suspect that they might have the virus this link tells them how to apply for a coronavirus test.

2.4 Equality in the workplace: your responsibility to make sure that nobody is discriminated against  

In applying this guidance, employers should be mindful of the particular needs of different groups of workers or individuals.

It is unlawful to discriminate, directly or indirectly, against anyone because of a protected characteristic including age, sex, disability, race or ethnicity.

Employers also have particular responsibilities towards disabled workers and those who are new or expectant mothers.

The steps you should take:

  • Understand and take into account the particular circumstances of those with different protected characteristics.
  • You should involve and communicate appropriately with workers whose protected characteristics might either expose them to a different degree of risk, or might make any steps you are thinking about inappropriate or challenging for them.
  • You should consider whether you need to put in place any particular measures or adjustments to take account of your duties under the equalities legislation.
  • You should make reasonable adjustments to avoid disabled workers being put at a disadvantage, and assess the health and safety risks for new or expectant mothers.
  • Making sure that the steps you take do not have an unjustified negative impact on some groups compared to others, for example those with caring responsibilities or those with religious commitments.

2.5 Workforce management – organising shift patterns and working groups to reduce the number of contacts each worker has.

The steps you should take: 

  • As far as possible, where workers are split into teams or shift groups (particularly for businesses that have extended their hours of business), or assigned to specific tasks, you should fix these teams or shift groups so that where contact is unavoidable, this happens between the same people.
  • You should identify areas where people have to directly pass things to each other and finding ways to remove direct contact such as by using drop-off points or transfer zones.
  • Use a defined process to help maintain physical  distancing during shift handovers.
  • Limit role/task rotation including remaining at a consistent workstation where possible.
  • Stagger shift start times, minimising worker congregation such as at entrances and exits.
  • Create a schedule for staff detailing in advance how treatments will take place and what arrangements have been made with clients.
  • You should assist the test and trace service by keeping a temporary record of your staff shift patterns for 21 days and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks.

2.6 Work related travel – avoid unnecessary work travel and keep people safe when they do need to travel between locations.

The steps you should take:

  • Avoid using public transport, and aiming to walk, cycle, or drive instead. If using public transport, it is mandatory for you to wear a face covering whilst you are travelling on public transport. Advice on face coverings is set out in section 5.   
  • You should wear a face covering and minimise the number of people outside of your household or extended household travelling together in any one vehicle, using fixed travel partners, increasing ventilation when possible and avoiding sitting face-to-face.
  • Avoid staff car sharing, if you do have to car share, all people travelling in the vehicle must wear a face covering whilst travelling in the vehicle. 
  • Putting in place procedures to minimise person-to-person contact during deliveries to other sites.
  • Minimising contact during payments and exchange of documentation, for example by using electronic payment methods and electronically signed and exchanged documents.

2.7 Communications and training: making sure all workers understand COVID-19 related safety procedures and are kept up to date with how safety measures are being implemented or updated.

As the employer is it your responsibility to ensure your employees read, understand and fully comply with the COVID-19 related safety procedures. 

The steps you should take:

  • Provide clear, consistent and regular communication to improve understanding and consistency of ways of working.
  • Engage with workers and worker representatives through existing communication routes to explain and agree any changes in working arrangements.
  • Develop communication and training materials for workers prior to returning to site, especially around new procedures for arrival at work.
  • Ensure staff understand how to use and clean their PPE.

Keeping them updated:

  • You should undertake ongoing engagement with workers (including through trade unions or employee representative groups) to monitor and understand any unforeseen impacts of changes to working environments.
  • You should be aware and focus on the importance of mental health at times of uncertainty.
  • Use simple, clear messaging to explain guidelines using images and clear language, with consideration of groups for which English may not be their first language and those with protected characteristics such as visual impairments.
  • Using visual communications, for example whiteboards or signage, to explain changes to appointment schedules or stock shortages without the need for face-to-face communications.
  • Under regulation 12, you are required to provide information to people on your premises about the measures they should follow to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus including the mandatory wearing of face coverings. This will include to clients as well as to staff, suppliers or trade bodies to help their adoption and to share experience, such as with emails or social media.

For mobile businesses

  • You should communicate with households before arrival to discuss the steps you will be taking to reduce the risk of COVID-19, which will include wearing the appropriate PPE and the required measures to be taken by your client in order for the close contact services to be provided safely in their home.

See guidance on reasonable measures and on working in other people’s homes for more information.

Physical distancing:

2.8. Physical distancing for workers – making sure employees maintain physical distancing guidelines

You should take all reasonable measures to ensure 2 metre distance is kept between people waiting to enter premises and when in the premises, where this is not possible you must consider other measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus.

The steps you should take:

  • You must maintain physical distancing in the workplace wherever possible.
  • When providing close contact services, the nature of the work is such that maintaining social distancing will not usually be possible when actively serving a client. In these circumstances, both employers, employees and the self-employed should do everything they reasonably can to reduce risk. Mitigating actions include:
    • Further increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning.
    • Wear a Type II mask and clear visor and undertake the appropriate PPE training (see section 5)
    • that you do not undertake 'high risk’ treatments unless you are wearing the appropriate grade PPE (see section 3.2).
      • Keeping the activity time involved as short as possible.
      • Using screens or barriers to separate clients from one another. If the practitioner is wearing a Type II mask and a clear visor,  screens will not provide additional protection between the practitioner and the individual.
      • Consider screens at payment desk where face-to-face interaction is more likely.
      • Avoid face-to-face working whenever possible.
      • Using a consistent pairing system if workers have to be in close proximity to each other.
      • Only opening client waiting areas and relaxation spaces where social distancing can be maintained.
      • Maintaining physical distancing between the service areas, such as guest seating, client chairs or treatment beds.
  • Physical distancing applies to all parts of a business, not just the room where the service is delivered, it will also include a client’s home when mobile close contact services are being provided.  Waiting rooms, corridors and staircases, where applicable are often the most challenging areas to maintain physical distancing and it is your responsibility to ensure workers are specifically reminded about the need to maintain safe distancing in these areas.

2.8.1 Maintaining physical distancing while coming to work and leaving work

You should put arrangements in place to maintain physical distancing wherever possible, on arrival and departure and to enable handwashing upon arrival.

The steps you should take:

  • Staggering arrival and departure times at work to reduce crowding into and out of the workplace, taking account of the impact on those with protected characteristics.
  • Providing additional parking or facilities such as bike-racks to help people walk, run, or cycle to work, recognising this may not be possible in smaller workplaces.
  • Reducing congestion, for example, by having more entry points to the workplace, where possible.
  • Using markings and introducing one-way flow at entry and exit points, where possible.
  • Providing handwashing facilities (or hand sanitiser where not possible) at entry and exit points.
  • Discussing with clients before arrival whether parking facilities are available for mobile businesses that provide services in the home.
  • Collaborating with other businesses who may share the premises to minimise the numbers of people on site.

2.8.2 Moving around salons, spas, premises and other people’s homes - maintaining physical distancing as far as possible while people travel through the workplace.

The steps you should take:

  • Introduce physical changes like barriers or screens between, behind or in front of workstations where possible, such as between clients and guests, for example in reception areas and relaxation spaces. 
  • Introducing one-way flow in high traffic areas.
  • Providing floor markings and signage to remind both workers and clients to maintain physical distancing wherever possible, particularly in client/guest interaction zones.
  • Making sure that people with disabilities are able to access lifts in larger workplaces or businesses based in multi-storey buildings.
  • Discussing with the client ahead of a mobile appointment in other people’s homes to ask that physical distancing and other measures to minimise risk are maintained by other people in the household.

2.8.3 Workplaces and workstations - maintaining physical  distancing between individuals when they are at their workstations.

For people who work in one place, workstations should allow them to maintain physical distancing wherever possible.

The steps you should take: 

  • You should assign individual workstations as much as possible. If they need to be shared, they should be shared by the smallest possible number of people and be frequently cleaned.
  • Reviewing layouts to maintain physical distancing between clients to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus, ensuring there is sufficient spacing between guest and client chairs and treatment beds, for example, closing off alternate chairs or treatment beds. 
  • Using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help people comply with physical distancing.
  • Avoiding overrunning or overlapping appointments and contacting clients virtually to let them know when they are ready to be seen, where possible.
  • Asking clients to arrive at the scheduled time of their appointment and only providing a waiting area if physical distancing can be maintained.  
  • In a spa setting where guests are unlikely to depart immediately after treatment, physical distancing should be observed in shared areas, including waiting areas and relaxation spaces.
  • Using screens to create a physical barrier between workstations, where this is practical. This will not be required between the practitioner and client when the practitioner is wearing a Type II mask and a clear visor.
  • Using a consistent buddying system, defined as fixing which workers work together, if workers have to be in close proximity. For example, this could include a stylist and apprentice.
  • Minimising contacts around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments including tips, if contactless payment by bank card or smart phone is not possible. Undertake regular cleaning of the machine and consider use of screens at payment desks.
  • Minimising how frequently equipment is shared between workers, frequently cleaning between uses and assigning equipment to an individual where possible.
  • Using disposable items where possible, and ensuring non-disposable items are cleaned and laundered between uses.

2.8.4 Common Areas - maintaining physical  distancing while using common areas.

The steps you should take:

  • Staggering break times to reduce pressure on the staff break rooms or places to eat and ensuring physical distancing is maintained in staff break rooms.
  • Using safe outside areas for breaks.
  • Creating additional space by using other parts of the working area or building that have been freed up by remote working. Installing screens to protect workers in receptions or similar areas.
  • Reconfiguring seating and tables, such as in waiting areas, to optimise spacing to maintain 2 metre distancing and reduce face-to-face interactions.
  • Encouraging workers to remain on-site for their shift.
  • Considering use of physical distance marking for other common areas such as toilets, staff rooms, changing rooms and in any other areas where queues typically form.
  • Preparing materials and equipment in advance of scheduled appointments, such as products and consumables, to minimise movement to communal working areas.
  • Scheduling appointments to avoid client congestion in waiting areas, particularly in establishments with smaller waiting areas. 
  • Only the client should be present in the same room for mobile appointments in the home.  
  • Providing a secure area where physical distancing is maintained for a client when services require development time, for example hair colouring.
  • Removal of magazines and newspapers from the waiting areas and relaxation spaces.

2.8.5 Accidents, security and other incidents

During these incidents the priority is safety. 

Where possible, first aiders should try to assist from a safe distance, directing the casualty to do things for themselves. Where this is not possible, in an emergency scenario for example, it is unlikely to be possible to maintain 2m distance.

Individuals providing close contact first aid to others should pay particular attention to sanitation measures immediately afterwards including washing hands.

If CPR is necessary to preserve life whilst waiting for the emergency services, both the Resuscitation Council’s guidance and HSEs website currently advises compression only and the early use of defibrillation equipment.

The steps you should take:

  • Review your incident and emergency procedures to ensure they reflect the social distancing principles as far as possible.
  • Consider the security implications of any changes you intend to make to your operations and practices in response to COVID-19, as any revisions may present new or altered security risks which may need mitigations.  

Keeping people safe

Section 3: What you should do to keep your clients and visitors safe – minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19

Working in other people’s  homes

Under the current rules, there are only very limited circumstances in which people other than members of an extended household can enter someone’s home, or where they can enter somebody else’s. The key ones are where work needs to take place in someone’s home or for reasons of care or compassionate support.

There are many circumstances in which people might need to access someone’s home to carry out work there. The law says that this must be “reasonably necessary” and that there is no “reasonable alternative”. So if the work is not essential or if there are ways in which the work can sensibly be carried out without people entering someone’s home to work, people should not enter another’s home.

There examples of people who are not realistically going to be able to provide some services without access to private homes.  For instance where close contact service practitioners, such as a hairdresser or barber, who does not occupy any premises and operates solely as a mobile business needs to be able to continue to operate, and so they must be free to continue to provide their services in people’s homes. This reasonable where the clinet physically  cannot leave the home or where leaving the home is likely to have a significant detrimental effect on their wellbeing.

Everyone in Wales has an important part to play in helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus – and this means thinking carefully about the contact we all have with other people. Because something is permitted does not always mean it is the right thing to do. We are asking people to think about what is the most sensible thing to do to protect their family, friends and their communities, rather than thinking primarily about what they are allowed to do.

However, where work does take place in private homes, it is important that this is managed in a safe way and both the worker and household members are well and have no symptoms of coronavirus.

Mobile close contact businesses must take all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and consider the guidance on working in other people’s homes.  You should also follow the specific advice for mobile businesses set out in this guidance. 

3.1 Close contact services that require you to wear a Type II mask (to protect the client from the practitioner) plus a clear visor (to protect the practitioner from the client) during COVID-19.

Providing the practitioner is wearing a Type II mask and clear visor which covers the forehead, extends below the chin, and wraps around the side of the face, all treatments and services can be provided safely on: the head (excluding the face); the front of the body (on and below the chest); the side of the body (from the neck down), and on all parts of the back of the body under the current government guidelines for safe working in close contact services.

The following treatments can be carried out safely, whilst wearing a Type II mask and clear visor because they are not within the ‘high risk zone’ which is the area directly in front of a client’s eyes, nose and mouth:

  • Body only waxing
  • Hand and nail treatments: manicure  and pedicure
  • Manual body only therapies: massage treatments
  • Advanced body only technical treatments (electrical or mechanical) therapy: galvanic; micro-current; microdermabrasion; low intensity LED light; skin warming devices; high/radio frequency; electrical muscle stimulation, lymphatic drainage equipment
  • Wellbeing and holistic body only treatments: Indian head massage, reflexology, reiki, lymphatic drainage massage, aromatherapy to induce relaxation, improve circulation, promote skin healing and energise, acupressure treatments, body/holistic massage, relaxation strategies and stress management thermal therapy treatments
  • Self-tanning
  • UV tanning
  • Body only electrical epilation
  • Body only Lasers and IPL (laser, intense pulsed light, and Lighter emitting diode)
  • Body Micro-pigmentation (semi-permanent make-up)
  • Body only Skin blemish removal
  • Body only Sports therapy
  • Body only Acupuncture

3.2 Indian Head Massage, Thermal auricular and Earlobe piercing

It should be noted that these treatments can only be provided safely on the basis that the therapist must wear a Type II mask and a clear visor and the treatments can only be completed if the therapist works side by side or from the back of the head and avoids prolonged periods of activity in the high-risk zone (the area directly in front of a client’s eyes, nose and mouth) for the majority of the time that it takes to complete the treatments. 

3.3 High risk close contact treatments on the face, which are extremely difficult to carry out safely during COVID-19, for both the practitioner and the client without the appropriate PPE under the current guidelines.  

These include:

  • Trimming or shaving facial hair (beards, moustaches or eyebrows)  
  • Face waxing, sugaring or threading services
  • Facial treatments (manual)
  • Advanced facial technical (electrical or mechanical including facial steamers)
  • Eyelash treatments
  • Make-up application
  • Dermarolling
  • Dermaplaning
  • Microblading
  • Electrical epilation on the face
  • Eyebrow treatments
  • Botulinum toxins and dermal fillers
  • Lasers and IPL (laser, intense pulsed light and lighter emitting diode)
  • Chemical peels
  • Microneedling
  • Semi-permanent make-up (i.e. Micro-pigmentation, Micro-blading and Scalpology)
  • Skin blemish removal (electrocautery and electrolysis)
  • Acupuncture

Whilst these procedures are not aerosol generating, they do require work in close proximity to the mouth and nose and the clients respiratory secretions i.e. through speaking, coughing and sneezing. Public health advice is clear that these are high risk activities that can bring practitioners within the ‘high risk zone’ for prolonged periods of time and are concerned that these treatments cannot be managed safely at this time without the right grade PPE. 

You should therefore only carry out ‘high risk’ treatments if you are wearing the right grade PPE - a Fluid Resistant Surgical Face Mask (FRSM) plus eye protection (goggles or full face visor) and disposable gloves and apron; you have been trained in the use of PPE and you have received training on standard infection control precautions.

As an employer, you have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety. This means you need to think about the risks they face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them, recognising you cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19.

You are under a duty to take all reasonable measures under regulation 21 (3) (a) Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 4) (Wales) Regulations 2020 to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus, such as measures which maintain 2 metres’ distance, limit close face to face interaction and maintain hygiene. 

A reasonable measure in the close contact services setting would include not carrying out ‘high risk’ facial treatments if you are not wearing the right grade PPE (a Fluid Resistant Surgical Face Mask (FRSM) plus eye protection (goggles or full face visor) and disposable gloves and apron). 

We all have a duty towards each other and will all need to work hard to keep Wales safe by following the expert advice and guidance to reduce the risk that further firebreaks are needed. .

Welsh Government recommends that you consider what a safe practice is and that you only provide treatments and services that can be delivered safely: taking all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus in workplaces and premises open to the public . 

We will collaborate with Local Authority Environmental Health Officers to continue to closely monitor the provision of close contact services in Wales, however it should be noted that non-compliance with the legal requirement to wear the correct grade  PPE and take reasonable measures when carrying out high risk treatments can result in a fine £1,000 being imposed on the business and could result in an improvement notice being served on the business, with the consequence of closure of the business if the notice is not complied with. 

3.3 The requirement for staff and clients to wear face coverings whilst they are in your business premises.

The wearing of a face covering in indoor public places, which includes close contact service settings, became a legal requirement in Wales from 14 September.  The requirement will apply to everyone aged 11 and over – including customers and staff, unless they have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face coverings. Please see section 5.3 for full details.  

If the practitioner is wearing the right grade PPE - a Fluid Resistant Surgical Face Mask (FRSM) plus eye protection (goggles or full face visor) and disposable gloves and apron, clients will be permitted to remove their face covering temporarily for treatments on the face. Under no circumstances should the clinent’s face covering be removed if the practitioner is not wearing the right grade PPE.  

3.4 Spas  

Spas operating gyms, hot tubs, spa pools, whirlpools, hydrotherapy, and swimming pools must follow Welsh Government guidance for gym/leisure facilities.

Saunas and steam rooms should remain closed.

3.5 Booking appointments - measures that will keep people safe and allow us to track the virus. 

Close contact service businesses should endeavour to do so on an appointment only basis. No walk-ins. Measures to contain COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by NHS Test,Trace, Protect.

Any businesses operating in high risk settings are required to collect contact information from their clients and visitors. Close contact services are considered to be high risk settings because clients and visitors will spend a long time on the premises, and/or potentially come into close contact with people outside of their household (or extended household if they have formed one).  

Collecting contact information helps to identify people who may have been exposed to the virus and are asymptomatic (i.e. are not yet displaying symptoms). Containing outbreaks is crucial to reducing the spread of coronavirus, protecting the NHS in Wales and saving lives. This will support the country in returning to, and maintaining, a more normal way of life. 

The legal requirement is to collect the person’s name and information sufficient to enable the person to be contacted, to inform them that they may have been exposed to coronavirus at the premises (including a telephone number and the date and time at which the person was at the premises).  

You are under a duty to collect your clients’ and visitors details, if they are not willing to share them, you should not allow them on your premises. 

You should keep a temporary record of your clients and visitors for 21 days. The collection of contact information is specifically regarded as a “reasonable measure” to be taken under Regulation 21. 

If you do not already have systems for recording your clients and visitors you should do so in preparation for your reopening  on the 9 November. You may wish to see guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test, Trace, Protect. 

The steps you should take before bookings takes place:

  • You should operate a pre-booking only - walk-in appointments should not be permitted.
  • You should calculate the maximum number of clients that can reasonably follow physical distancing guidelines and seek to limit the number of appointments at any one time accordingly.  Take into account total floorspace as well as likely pinch points and busy areas. 
  • Allow at least 2 metres between workstations. This may mean removing chairs or treatment beds or guest chairs from the salon floor and relaxation areas or taping them off and using ‘not in use’ signs.  Whilst an appointment system should minimise this risk, any calculations in regard to physical distancing you should consider any waiting areas which may need to be utilised. 
  • Determine if schedules for essential services and contractor visits can be revised to reduce interaction and overlap between people.
  • The steps you should take when booking appointments.
  • If the booking is for a treatment to the face  and you have determined that you will not be able to follow the guidance for the provisions of  high risk treatments set out in section 3,3 you should inform the client that you will be unable to provide the treatment(s) safely to  minimise risk of both the client and the practioner’s exposure to coronavirus. 
  • You should inform the client that if on the day of the appointment they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or have been tested positive or are waiting for the results of a COVID -19 test or are self-isolating they should let you know on the day and not keep the appointment.   
  • You should also inform the client that you have a duty to record their contct details and will be asking for their contact inforation when they arrive, if you do not already hold their information.
  • Clients should be advised to arrive promptly for appointments to minimise delays later in the day, but not too early so as to not overlap with other clients.
  • Day spa guests should be asked to arrive promptly and occupancy levels should be carefully managed.
  • You should ask the client if they can attend on their own, where possible, to avoid compromising social distancing requirements.

The steps you should take on the day of the appointment:

  • you should check that they have not tested positive for coronavirus, or  
  • are waiting for the result of a test for coronavirus? Or are exhibiting the symptoms of coronavirus.

Symptoms include:

  • a new continuous cough (this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours - if they usually have a cough, is it worse than usual)
  • a high temperature (this means do they feel hot to touch on their chest or back – they do not need to measure their temperature)
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell? (this means they have noticed they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal)

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms. If the client has any of these symptoms, however mild, you should not proceed with the appointment and suggest they self-isolate, apply for a test and reschedule their appointment.  

If you are a mobile business you must:

  • Check if anyone in the house is self-isolating or at increased risk.
  • You must not attend the house if someone is self-isolating, but rearrange the appointment for when their period of self-isolation is complete. You should check that no-one in the home has coronavirus symptoms or is waiting for a coronavirus test.
  • You should wear the right PPE and might ask the client to wear a face covering for the duration of the time you are in their home.
  • Only you and the clinet should be in the room where the treatment(s) is taking place.
  • You should inform the client that you have their contact details and will be obliged to pass their details to NHS Test,Trace, Protect if asked to do so. 
  • All clients over the age of 11 must wear a face covering (unless they are exempt see section 5.3) whilst they are on your premises, if they do not have one you should provide one for them.
  • You should encourage clients to use hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities as they enter the premises or before the treatments and services.
  • If clients are accompanied by children they should be responsible for supervising them at all times. If at all possible persons attending for appointments should not attend with any other person(s) to avoid compromising social distancing requirements.
  • Adjusting how people move through the premises to reduce congestion and contact between clients, for example, queue management or one-way flow. This may only be possible in larger establishments
  • Ensuring any changes to entrances, exits and queue management take into account reasonable adjustments for those who need them, including disabled clients.
  • Queues should be avoided by the operation of a strict appointment only system.
  • Queues which do form should be managed to ensure they do not cause risk to individuals or other businesses, for example by, using barriers and having staff direct clients.
  • Maintaining physical distancing in waiting areas when clients wait for their appointments. When waiting areas can no longer maintain physical distancing, consider moving to a ‘one-in-one-out’ policy.

3.6 Client toilets - ensure and promote good hygiene, physical distancing, and cleanliness in toilet facilities.

Public toilets, portable toilets and toilets inside premises should be kept open and carefully managed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

The steps you should take:

  • Using signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique, the need to increase handwashing frequency and to avoid touching your face, and to cough or sneeze into a tissue which is binned safely, or into your arm if a tissue is not available. 
  • To enable good hand hygiene consider making hand sanitiser available on entry to toilets where safe and practical, and ensure suitable handwashing facilities including running water and liquid soap and suitable options for drying (paper towels if possible) or hand dryers are available. 
  • Signage should be provided on the requirement to maintain a 2m distance from other clients and therapists when not receiving a close contact service.  
  • Adopt measures to limit the number of users at any one time. Consider the use of clear physical distancing marking for queues, and the adoption of a limited entry approach, with one in, one out (whilst avoiding the creation of additional bottlenecks).
  • Keep the facilities well ventilated, where possible doors to toilet blocks may be wedged open to maximise fresh air, to allow users to assess numbers inside, and to limit hand contact.
  • Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets, with increased frequency of cleaning in line with usage, you might want to refer to the following guidance GOV.UK: COVID-19: cleaning of non-healthcare settings outside the home.  Use normal cleaning products, paying attention to frequently hand touched surfaces, and consider use of disposable cloths or paper roll to clean all hard surfaces.
  • Special care should be taken for cleaning of portable toilets and larger toilet facilities.
  • Putting up a visible cleaning schedule can keep it up to date and visible. Providing more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection. Read public health guidance on cleaning and disinfection in non-healthcare settings

For further advice see Welsh Government guidance: Providing Safer toilets for public use: Coronavirus which provides guidance on the safe management of toilets used by the public during the coronavirus pandemic including for commercial or business premises where toilet access is provided to the public.

3.7 Providing and explaining available guidance - making sure people understand what they need to do to maintain safety.

The steps you should take:  

  • Providing clear guidance on expected client/guest behaviours, social distancing and hygiene to people before arrival, when scheduling their appointment, and on arrival, for example, with signage and visual aids.  Explaining to guests and clients that failure to observe safety measures may result in services not being provided.  Promotion of this message could be done via your web pages or other social media channels.
  • Providing written or spoken communication of the latest guidelines to both workers and clients/guests inside and outside the premises.
  • Displaying posters or information setting out how clients should behave on your premises to keep everyone safe. Consider the particular needs of those with protected characteristics, such as those who are hearing or visually impaired.
  • Providing a safety briefing of on-site protocols, rules for shared areas and key facilities, for example, handwashing, in particular for freelance workers who may work at multiple locations. 
  • Ensuring latest guidelines are visible throughout the entire premises. Informing clients that they should be prepared to remove face coverings if asked to do so by police officers and staff for the purpose of identification.

3.8 Receiving and dispatching goods and products – maintaining physical distancing and avoid spreading the virus on surfaces when goods enter and leave the premises.

Steps you should take:

  • Minimise unnecessary contact for deliveries. For example, non-contact deliveries where the nature of the product allows for use of electronic pre-booking.
  • Consider ways to reduce frequency of deliveries, for example by ordering larger quantities less often.
  • Where possible and safe, having single workers load or unload vehicles or meet delivery people at the front door.
  • Scheduling deliveries for outside of client appointment times.
  • Re-stocking/replenishing outside of workplace operating hours.

3.9 Receiving and dispatching goods and products – maintaining physical distancing and avoid spreading the virus on surfaces when goods enter and leave the premises.

Steps you should take:

  • Minimise unnecessary contact for deliveries. For example, non-contact deliveries where the nature of the product allows for use of electronic pre-booking.
  • Consider ways to reduce frequency of deliveries, for example by ordering larger quantities less often.
  • Where possible and safe, having single workers load or unload vehicles or meet delivery people at the front door.
  • Scheduling deliveries for outside of client appointment times.
  • Re-stocking/replenishing outside of workplace operating hours.

Cleaning

Section 4: What you should do to keep your business premises, spas and workplaces free of COVID-19  

4.1 Cleaning the workplace – making sure that any site or location that has been closed or partially operated is clean and ready to restart  

Steps you should take:

  • Checking whether you need to service or adjust ventilation systems, for example, so that they do not automatically reduce ventilation levels due to lower than normal occupancy levels.
  • Most air conditioning systems do not need adjustment, however where systems serve multiple buildings, or you are unsure, advice should be sought from your heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) engineers or advisers.
  • It is important that, prior to reopening all the usual checks are undertaken to make the building is safe. If buildings have been closed or had reduced occupancy during the COVID-19 outbreak, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease. HSE guidance covering water management and legionella is available.
  • Drinking Water Inspectorate’s guidance on bringing buildings back into use after a period of disuse may be helpful. The guidance covers a range of quality issues that should be considered the guidance is available on the DWIs general web page.
  • Natural ventilation via windows or vents should be used as far as possible. Where centralised or mechanical ventilation is present, recirculatory systems should be adjusted to full fresh air, if this is not possible systems should be operated as normal. Where ventilation units have filters present ensure enhanced precautions are taken when changing filters.

4.2 Keeping the workplace clean: preventing spreading the virus by touching and contaminating surfaces

The steps you should take:

  • Spacing appointments to allow for frequent cleaning of work areas and equipment between uses, using your usual cleaning products.
  • Frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including door handles or staff handheld devices, and making sure there are adequate disposal arrangements for cleaning products.
  • Clearing workspaces and removing waste and belongings from the work area at the end of a shift.
  • Remove items that clients usually handle including not providing reading materials such as magazines in client waiting areas and relaxation spaces.
  • Sanitising any reusable equipment, including client chairs, treatment beds, and guest seating, including relaxation spaces and equipment used after each appointment, and at the start and end of shifts.
  • In salons and clinics using disposable gowns for each client. Where this is not possible, use separate gowns (and towels in the normal way) for each client, washing between uses and disposing appropriately as required.
  • Encouraging staff not to wear their uniforms at home or to and from the workplace, to change uniforms on a daily basis and to wash immediately after use.
  • Maintaining good ventilation in the work environment, for example keeping windows or doors open.
  • Cleaning high touch objects and surfaces such as door handles

4.3 Hygiene (handwashing, sanitation facilities): help everyone keep good hygiene through the working day

Steps you should take:

  • Using signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique, the need to increase handwashing frequency and avoiding touching your face.
  • Adopting good handwashing technique and increasing handwashing in between appointments. For mobile operators, in the absence of handwashing facilities, you must use hand sanitiser.
  • Providing clients access to tissues and advising that if they do need to sneeze or cough, they could do so into the tissue and then discard them in the bins provided and suggest that they wash their hands thoroughly or use hand sanitiser after using a tissue.
  • Providing regular reminders and signage to maintain hygiene standards.
  • Providing hand sanitiser in multiple locations in premises in addition to washrooms.
  • Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets to ensure they are kept clean and social distancing is achieved as much as possible.
  • Enhancing cleaning for busy areas.
  • Providing more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection.
  • Providing hand drying facilities – either paper towels (preferably paper towels) or electrical dryers.

4.4 Changing rooms and showers – minimising the risk of spreading the virus in changing rooms and showers.

It is advised that changing rooms and showers should only be provided for staff, guests and clients if absolutely necessary at this time. 

Steps you should take:

  • Where shower and changing facilities are required, setting clear use and cleaning guidance for showers, lockers and changing rooms to ensure they are kept clean and clear of personal items and that physical distancing is achieved as much as possible.
  • Introducing enhanced cleaning of all facilities regularly during the day and at the end of the day.

4.5 Handling products, goods and other materials – reducing the spread of the virus through contact with objects in the premises.

The steps you should take:

  • Encouraging increased handwashing and introducing more handwashing facilities for workers and clients or providing hand sanitiser where this is not practical.
  • Implementing enhanced handling procedures of laundry to prevent potential contamination of surrounding surfaces, to prevent raising dust or dispersing the virus.
  • Putting in place picking-up and dropping-off collection points where possible, rather than passing goods hand-to-hand.
  • Enforcing cleaning procedures for goods and products entering the site.
  • Regularly cleaning equipment that employees may bring from or take home. Cleaning should also take place before and following client use.
  • Minimising person-to-person contact when accepting deliveries by creating pick-up and drop-off collection points for deliveries entering the premises.
  • Ensuring that equipment entering a person’s home is thoroughly cleaned before use and between clients, with usual cleaning products.
  • Minimising client contact with testers, for example, employees demonstrating testers from a distance or facilitating the use of testers.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and face coverings

Section 5. The use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Face Coverings  

PPE protects the user from health and safety risks at work. It can include face masks, eye protection including goggles and face visors, disposable gloves, gowns and aprons. 

In Section 4 of this document we described the steps you need to take to manage COVID-19 risk in the workplace.  When managing the risks of COVID-19, additional PPE beyond what you usually wear will not be beneficial in the majority of workplaces. This is because COVID-19 is a different type of risk to the risks you normally face in a workplace, and needs to be managed through social distancing, hygiene and fixed teams or partnering.

Physical distancing and hygiene measures are by far the most effective ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, however for people who are providing close contact services (such as those covered in this guidance  because of the period of time spent in close proximity to a person’s face, mouth and nose), it is likely to be difficult to maintain physical distancing, they should therefore wear further protection in addition to any that they might usually wear. 

For treatments to the body but excluding the face this should take the form of a Type II mask and a clear visor that covers the face and provides a barrier between the wearer and the client from respiratory aerosols and droplets caused by breathing, sneezing, coughing or speaking). Visors must fit the user and be worn properly. It should cover the forehead, extend below the chin, and wrap around the side of the face.

Both disposable and re-usable face visors are available. A re-usable face visor should be cleaned and sanitised regularly using normal cleaning products.

Type II face masks are not clinical grade PPE but will provide a physical barrier to minimise contamination of the mouth and nose when used correctly.

5.1 Guidance on how to put on, wear and remove a Type II face mask safely

Always ensure you are hydrated before putting a face mask on.

Putting on your face mask:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser, before putting a face mask on.
  • if the mask has ties (instead of ear loops), make sure it is securely tied over your ears at the crown and nape of the neck. 
  • once on, make sure the mask is extended to cover your mouth and chin. 
  • ensure the mask is flat against your cheeks.  With both hands, mould the metal strip over the bridge of your nose.

Safe use of a face mask:

Keep your hands away from your face and face mask. When you need to remove your mask (e.g. to take a drink or eat) then you should replace it with a new face mask before continuing to work. Face masks should:

  • cover both nose and mouth.
  • not be allowed to dangle around the neck.
  • not be touched once on.
  • be changed if they become moist or damaged, or if difficult to breathe through.
  •  be worn once and then discarded safely, ideally into a non-touch and self-closing bin.

Taking off your face mask:

Safe removal of a face mask is important.

  1. wash your hands or use hand sanitiser.
  2. untie or break the bottom ties, followed by top ties or elastic.
  3. gently pull the mask away from the face and remove it by handling the ties only.
  4. discard the mask safely, ideally into a non-touch and self-closing bin.
  5. wash your hands again.

In instances where you are contacted via the NHS Test,Trace, Protect service, having been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will still need to self-isolate even if you are wearing a visor and Type II face mask at work. This is because the risk of transmission cannot be ruled out, even if wearing a visor and mask reduces that risk. There are different regulations which apply to the use of medical grade devices and equipment including hand gels and PPE.

5.2 PPE for ‘high risk’ treatments on the face

We strongly advise that you do not provide these treatments which are extremely difficult to carry out safely during COVID-19, for both the practitioner and the client without the appropriate grade PPE under the current guidelines.

You should only contemplate carrying out the treatments listed in section 3 if you are wearing: 

  • a Fluid Resistant Surgical Face Mask (FRSM) plus eye protection (goggles of full face visor);
  • have had the appropriate training in the use of PPE and;
  • have received training on standard infection control precautions

The following links will take you to COVID-19: infection prevention and control guidance produced by Public Health England, Wales and Scotland which covers the use of PPE and guidance on how to put PPE on and take it off (donning and doffing):  

The most effective methods of preventing the transmission of COVID-19 are still physical distancing and regular handwashing. These steps must still be followed as much as possible, even when practitioners are wearing protective equipment.

In instances where you are contacted via the test and trace service, having been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will still need to self-isolate even if you have been wearing the appropriate PPE at work.  This is because the risk of transmission cannot be ruled out.

5.3 Face coverings

Since the 14 September it is a legal requirement for face coverings to be worn in all indoor public places across Wales.

Face coverings will be required in all indoor public places, for both customers and staff working in those indoor public areas. This includes a very wide range of locations, such as shops and shopping centres, places of worship, hairdressers and salons, cinemas and museums, gyms and leisure centres, and anywhere that is open to members of the public.

It would also include any public areas within buildings that are otherwise closed to the public – for example a reception area of an office building.

The only indoor public areas where face coverings will not be required are where you are inside a place to eat or drink, for example, cafés, restaurants and pubs. But where food and drink is only being served for consumption in part of the premises – for example, a café which also offers take away services – you will need to wear a a face covering in the parts of the premises where people are not eating or drinking..  

Employers will also be required to mandate the use of face coverings in indoor workplaces where social distancing cannot be maintained, unless there are strong reasons not to. You may therefore find you are required to wear a face covering at work even in places which are not open to the public.

The requirement will apply to everyone aged 11 and over – including customers and staff. However, you may have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering if (for example):

  • you are not able to put on or to wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness, or because of a disability or impairment;
  • you are accompanying somebody who relies on lip reading where they need to communicate; or
  • you are escaping from a threat or danger and don’t have a face covering.

In general the face covering should be kept on at all times whilst the client is in your premises. But they may have a reasonable excuse to remove a face covering temporarily if (again, for example):

  • you need to take medicines;
  • you need to eat or drink; or
  • you need to remove a face covering to avoid harm or injury, either to yourself or others – for example to get somebody’s attention about a danger.
  • any physical conditions and the temperature and humidity may all be relevant.

Most people do not need to eat or drink on short trips away from home, but this may be different for somebody who is diabetic, for example, or in in hot weather.

Whether somebody has a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering will not always be obvious. Disabilities and impairments are not always visible to others, including conditions such as autism and ADHD, and respect and understanding should be shown to those who have good reasons not to wear face coverings.

Those who have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering are not being asked to give any written evidence of this. They do not need to seek advice or request a letter from a medical professional about the reason for not wearing a face covering.

Carrying an exemption card is a personal choice and is not necessary in law.

Employers should support their workers in using face coverings safely. We are advising the use of three-layer, non-medical face coverings. Welsh Government has produced guidance on how to make three-layer face covering and Frequently Asked Questions

This is in line with the World Health Organisation’s latest technical advice.

This means telling workers: 

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and before and after removing it.
  • when wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face or face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands.
  • change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it.
  • continue to wash your hands regularly.
  • change and wash your face covering daily.
  • if the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in your usual waste.

Test, Track and Protect Service

Section 6. The NHS Wales Test, Track and Protect Service

6.1 Businesses and people practicing in the areas covered by this guidance need to conform to the requirements of the NHS Wales Test, Track and Protect Service.

You should inform customers that their data may be passed to this service in the event of a case, cluster or outbreak of coronavirus (i.e. more than one new case of coronavirus) that is tracked back to your premises. The service will ask for these records only where it is necessary, and if asked to do so, you are required to share the information of staff, customers and visitors with the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service as soon as possible. You should not share the information that has been collected for this purpose with anyone else.

Further general information can be found here:

Financial options

Section 7 Financial options available if you are getting less work or no work because of COVID-19.

You may be able to access support through the Discretionary Assistance Fund and apply for Universal Credit.

Self-employed people may be eligible to claim financial support through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The Welsh Government has also made funding available for local authorities to provide a discretionary grant for businesses that are closed or materially impacted: Lockdown Business Fund.

Coronavirus support for businesses can also be found on Business Wales.