The UK government has released the full guidelines for the re-introduction of some restrictions, which means that it is now the law (and therefore mandatory) for face coverings to be worn in premises that provide close contact services in England ie all staff working in the hair & beauty industry and their clients, unless officially exempt. The guidance also includes freelancers and mobiles as it clearly states that staff and customers should also wear a face covering if close contact services are taking place in someone’s home.
The new law only requires a face covering for staff (Type II face mask recommended), not visors or googles, and clients can remove their mask for relevant treatments, as before. However, it only applies to receptionists if there is no physical barrier or screen between workers and members. If there is a screen, then face coverings do not need to be worn. Enforcement action can be taken if staff are not behind a barrier or screen and are not wearing a face covering.
The NHBF is highlighting to salon and barbershop owners that it is a legal requirement in England for close contact services (including hair, barbering, beauty, nails, eyelashes, tanning and aesthetics) to display a notice advising that face coverings must be worn unless a person is exempt. The notice must be displayed in a visible location, for example, on the front door. Failure to do so could result in a £1,000 fine.
Compulsory face coverings have been re-introduced because a new strain of Covid 19, called Omicron, has been identified. Wearing face coverings should reduce the risk of the virus spreading and hopefully prevent further restrictions (such as a lockdown) being re-introduced.
Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Hair & Beauty Federation, says, “We all have a duty of care to protect staff and clients. Whilst the wearing of face masks at work again may feel inconvenient, it is now a legal requirement. I met BEIS and Cabinet Office officials this week who made clear this measure is designed to stop any further restrictions, such as social distancing or another lockdown, that could severely affect business just as the industry is recovering.”
Further information can be found here and NHBF Members can also download face-covering posters from the website.
Latest government information can be found here