New guidelines in England ahead of 19 July
The Government has announced new guidelines for those working in close contact services, including hairdressers, barbers and beauty practitioners.
It stresses the importance of an up-to-date risk assessment. The main update regards face coverings and states:
“Face coverings are no longer required by law. However, the government expects and recommends that people continue to wear a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces. Where worn correctly, this may reduce the risk of transmission to themselves and others. Be aware that workers may choose to wear a face covering in the workplace.
Consider encouraging, for example through signage, the use of face coverings by workers, particularly in indoor areas where they may come into contact with people they do not normally meet. This is especially important in enclosed and crowded spaces.
In close contact services, having considered the risk of COVID-19, you may decide that in your premises you’re going to ask clients or staff to wear a face covering, especially where practitioners are conducting treatments which require them to be in close proximity to a person’s face, mouth and nose.
Nicola Sturgeon announced in her briefing on 13 July that lockdown restrictions in Scotland would be eased from Monday 19 July – but with certain conditions.
The First Minister told the Scottish Parliament that the country would move to Level 0 but face masks will remain “mandatory”.
She went on to say that it is a time for “continued caution” and that lifting all restrictions would put people at greater threat and would “risk the imposition of shielding by default”.
She added: “So while Scotland will move to Level 0 from next Monday, we will do so with certain modifications to our indicative plans.
So, what are the ‘modifications’?
She went on to confirm that the wearing of face masks would continue for some time to come.
The next review will be on the 9 August when it is expected all legal restrictions will be dropped.
Mark Drakeford has announced that Wales will move fully into alert level 1 from Saturday, July 17, and is set to lift nearly all restrictions on people and businesses three weeks later on Saturday, August 7.
The First Minister said: “We are entering a new phase of the pandemic. Cases of the virus have risen sharply since the delta variant emerged six weeks ago but, thanks to our fantastic vaccination programme, we are not seeing these translate into large numbers of people falling seriously ill or needing hospital treatment.”
With our sector already trading, the further easing of restrictions on 17 July does not really impact us. However, the need to continue with all the COVID health, safety and hygiene precautions remaining in place, and together with your continuing ‘duty of care’ to your staff and customers and the hugely important updating of your business/salon risk assessment, must be uppermost in your minds.
From August 7, if the public health situation allows, all premises would be able to open and most – but not all – restrictions will be removed and replaced with the ongoing requirement for all organisations and businesses to carry out COVID risk assessments.
There will also be no legal limits on the number of people who can meet others indoors, including in private homes. Face coverings will continue to be required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport at alert level zero (0) from 7 August, with the exception of hospitality settings.