FAQ’s for Close Contact Services Reopening

As businesses prepare to reopen there may be uncertainty about rules and regulations. We hope the following answers to FAQ’s from close contact businesses will help. If you have any further questions please do email: covid.response@hyndburnbc.gov.uk

For further advice on reopening please visit the Government website via this link. 

You can also view a recording of the webinar for close contact services here.

Q – Where do we get Lateral Flow Tests from?

A – This will depend on where you are based or live. We recommend that you check with your local authority for the nearest LFT centre, please see the link for your nearest test centre

https://www.gov.uk/find-covid-19-lateral-flow-test-site

Q – We send the questionnaires out 24 hours before the appointment as we feel it is too early to send it if they have booked weeks in advance. Is 24 hours a good enough time frame? We would not want to take the risk of a client coming on to the premises if they had symptoms or had been in contact.

A – Yes, this timeline is acceptable as well as being important in receiving this information.

Q – Should it be one client at a time, or can a client be done in between a colour development time, if there is room for waiting area?

A – Ideally this would depend on numerous factors identified in your risk assessment, such as: available space and covid secure measures in place.

Q – Hi i am wondering if we are allowed to lip/chin wax? Does this mean they are not allowed to remove their mask?

A- Yes, all full services will resume but ensure the time kept mask free with the customer is limited

Q – Is it mandatory to have a screen between you and the client when we are doing treatments even if we have the visor and mask on. we keep hearing different things in our industry.

A – No it is not mandatory, as the screen provides an extra protection if 2m cannot be maintained between workstations

Q – Will beauty salons be able to perform facial treatments?
A – Yes beauty salons will be able to complete facial treatments following full

covid secure measures

Q – Would it not be easier for councils to provide us with questionnaires so we are covering everything properly? and all on the same page?

A – This is something that we could possibly look into but in the meantime the questions that could be used for a form are as follows:

  • Have you developed a cough or sore throat in the past 24 hours?
  • In the past week, have you had contact with anyone experiencing theabove symptoms?
  • In the past two weeks, have you had contact with any confirmed casesof COVID-19?
  • Is anyone in your home self-quarantining or under a mandatedquarantine?
  • Are you currently awaiting results from a COVID-19 test?
  • Do you have any restrictions or concerns for wearing PPE?
  • This could also be completed before the appointment or on arrivalQ – Can we do nose piercing?
    A – Yes, nose piercing can be carried out as long as all covid secure measures

    are implemented

    Q – I am confused with regard the mandatory mask wearing by client – will beauty salons be able to perform facial treatments? Obviously, a client cannot wear a mask for facial massage etc?

    A – Yes and as long as the member of staff has their face covering and visor on to minimise the risk of droplets and that some treatments could be time reduced so you are not spending a long period of time without being protected.

Q – The Complementary Therapy Association have been telling their members they can offer reiki as its part of mental health; I am not with this organisation but its worrying that this information has been released

A – If this is for mental health purposes and this can be demonstrated then this would fall into the exemptions of the restrictions of being allowed to be offered before the 12th April.

Q – Regarding Masks – what about our girls who do makeup applications, aesthetics, facials? This means most of our girls cannot come back to work.

A – The same principle would apply in relation to all members of staff having to wear a visor/goggles and a face covering to ensure that both parties are minimising the risk of infection of the virus when carrying out these activities.

Q – If you refused service to someone who had an exception could this be classed as discrimination under the Equality Act 2010

A – This is a very difficult question to answer and will depend on individual circumstances. However, the health & safety of employees and customers must be viewed as critical in relation to Covid. We all need to take sensible steps to reduce the spread of Covid and if you are not satisfied you, your staff or other customers are safe then our advice is this should take priority. Similar advice has been issued to shops who refuse customers access to the premises if they are not wearing a face covering.

Before refusing service to a customer who is not wearing a face covering due to an exemption you should discuss this with the customer first, and try to find a compromise that you and your customer are happy with – this might be to find a time when the customer is to the only customer in the premises at the time, or ask them to wear a visor – remember if you are wearing full PPE then this will help to keep you and your customer safe even if your customer is only wearing a visor. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward Yes/No answer to this question and to our knowledge, it has not yet been challenged in court.

Another recommendation that you could implement (also this would be documented in your risk assessment) could be that you ask your customers to take a Lateral Flow Test before their appointment, either the day before or in the morning for clarification of being negative.

 

Q –Please can you confirm that there should not be a bunch of customers in the waiting room at any one time?

A – Regarding waiting rooms/areas, social distancing must still apply which would not allow customers to sit next to (bunch together) each other, unless they were in the same social bubble/family. Chairs should either be removed or taped over to highlight to customers that they are not to use.

Q – Do you have to wear goggles/visor behind a sneeze screen?

A – This is not deemed as being mandatory, but a recommendation is to wear a face covering at all times whilst being in close contact with customers even if there is mitigation, minimising the risk

 

Q – What about FFP2 masks? These protect wearer as well as client. Type II masks have been used in hospital as ‘session’ masks. Given that touching the mask increases risk of cross-contamination, would it be better to have one new mask per session rather than per client as long as the mask remains dry?

A – It is recommended that face covering must be changed after every client/customer or when the face covering starts to get moist after being worn over a period of time?

 

Q – What is the cleaning requirement on carpet/carpet tiles etc between clients and after treatments?

A – The recommendation would be that they are hoovered on a regular basis to remove the daily debris and can also be sprayed with virucidal agents (ensure that the instructions/directions are checked that the chemical is suitable to use on these materials). Another method would be to steam clean the flooring, but this would have to be carried out when shut due to the carpet etc being damp and needing time to dry out.

Q – Do you have a recommended clean down time in between clients? we have it set to 20 minutes and have removed stuff out of our areas so there is less stuff in there

A – As long as you can demonstrate that full effective cleaning has been carried out with regards to all areas and equipment and that the correct contact time for the sanitisers has been allowed, there is no set time limit, but between 15 – 20 minutes turnaround time is recommended

Q – Please explain on mandatory face masks as a lot of my staff cannot return to work… I.e., facials, aesthetics, makeup

A – Mandatory face coverings for all members of staff to have their face covering and visor on at all times when treating customers, to minimise the risk of droplets and that some treatments could be time reduced so you are not spending a long period of time without being protected.

These activities are ok to go ahead, but again minimise the time that the customer is spending without a face covering.

Q – How many clients at one time should be allowed in the salon

A – This will depend on the individual premises and the overall size of the premises area. If you ensure that all social distance measures (2m) can be achieved, work out/measure what would be your maximum number of customers at one time. This would also be recommended if you have a waiting area.

Q – How many people are safely allowed in a meditation or promotion event – does it work from the size of the room?

A –The room size would be taken into consideration as social distancing would need to be implemented and observed. Please see the below text stating numbers allowed

Following the move to Step 2, further settings will be permitted to open. Unless a specific exemption exists, these must only be attended/used in line with the wider social contact limits at this stage – as a single household or bubble indoors; or in a group of 6 people or 2 households outdoors, unless a specific exemption exists e.g., childcare settings.

Q – Do customers have to wear face coverings?

A – By law customers entering close contact premises have to wear face coverings. This must be on when entering a premise and kept on until the customer leaves. This can be removed for a reasonable excuse i.e., such as beard shaving or work around the face but the time this is removed should be as short as possible.

Q – What if a customer is medically exempt?

A – There are circumstances when people are not obliged to wear a face covering due to age, health or disability. Customers do not need to provide evidence of this. It is up to the business to decide whether you are comfortable in seeing clients who are medically exempt, if you do, keep the appointment as short as possible or maybe ask clients to partake in a Lateral Flow test beforehand to give you more confidence. (see previous answer above on discrimination)

Q – I have a member of staff who refuses to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

A – As an employer there is a duty on you to protect the Health and Safety of employees. Type II face mask and a visor/goggles must be worn when in close contact with a client. This must be made clear to employees who can sign the risk assessment to declare they understand this and kept within individual employee’s employment file.

Wearing a face mask and a face shield/googles is difficult over long periods of time this can be managed by considering options such as longer opening times to allow staff breaks in between and swapping roles of staff.

If a member of staff is medically exempt, they should not be working within close contact of a customer, consider other duties they can do to limit the risk.

As part of your opening checks, it is important to identify if any members of staff who are medically exempt.

The wearing of masks needs to be monitored by management. Employees also have a duty to look after their own health and safety and to co-operate with managers so if staff are refusing to wear the required PPE then disciplinary action must be considered.

Please see comments above on discrimination if customers are not wearing a face covering– Staff and customer safety must be a priority but as yet, the question whether disability discrimination could outweigh H&S and welfare has not been tested under these circumstances. We would advise you attempt to find an amicable solution with staff first, but if that does not result in a solution, you must decide on your assessment of risk to you, your staff and your customers. You should also consider the risk to the staff member who has the exemption – if this is on clinical medical grounds (e.g., severe asthma, COPD etc) your risk assessment should consider the risk to the staff member should they contract Covid and whether the likely symptoms could be more severe or life threatening in their circumstance.

 

Q – Can I wear a homemade mask?

A – Type II masks have a three-ply layers including a waterproof layer which is sneeze proof proven to be more efficient at reducing transmission so these must be worn by employees.

Customers are required to wear a face covering and this can take the form of a home-made masks but must cover the nose and chin.

Q – I have had a member of staff develop symptoms, what do I do?
A – Consult the workplace guidance pack produced by Public Health England

PHE document (lancashire.gov.uk).
All members of staff should know to advise their employer if they develop

symptoms.

If a member of staff starts with symptoms then they must be asked to go home and advised to start self-isolation for 10 days. They can be asked to partake in an NHS test. If the results are negative and the member of staff is no longer displaying symptoms then they can start back at work. If the result comes back positive the manager needs to quickly identify any close contacts that member of staff has had during their infectious period (48hrs before symptoms and up to 10 days after displaying symptoms) All close contacts of a positive case will have to self-isolate for 10 days, this is whether or not a negative result comes in as symptoms may develop later on.

If there is a single case connected to your premises there is no need to report this.

However, if there are two or more linked cases, this will need to be reported to PHE contact tracing hub who will take you through the process or may refer this process onto Environmental Health to make contact.

This is to identify close contacts and get them self-isolating to contain any spread.

It is important during this time to have a through clean down.

Q – What is a close contact?

A – Any household contact, any face-to-face contact less than 1 metre if there has been coughing or conversation or face to face contact under 1 metre for 1 minute or more. It is irrelevant whether the correct PPE has been worn.

Q – What is a member of the public reports they have had a positive test result and has been in the premises during their infectious period?

A – If a customer reports they have had a positive COVID test result, other customers will not need to be informed so long as the premise is COVID secure. However, anyone within a close contact of that customer will have to self-isolate for 10 days.

Q – Can I undertake training of my staff on site before the 12th April?

A – Any commercial hair salon can train their own staff on their premises before the 12th April but no members of the public are allowed. Commercial training salons can provide accredited training however again not to members of the public. Accredited training providers cannot run an offsite course on a premises that is not an accredited training provider.

Q – Can I undertake patch tests before the 12th April?

A – Patch tests can be sent to customers in the mail or can be collected at the salon, however they cannot be administered on site until the salon is fully opened.

Q – Do I have to keep my doors open?

A – A poorly ventilated occupied space poses an enhanced risk of transmission so it is important that spaces are well ventilated and doors and windows must be kept open. Internal fire doors must be kept closed however it is recommended that windows and the front door is kept ajar.

Q – What are fogging machines?

A – The fogging machine, or fogger as it is sometimes called, is a piece of equipment that uses a fine spray to apply a chemical solution which is increasing becoming popular as a means of sanitising surfaces. If you are going to adopt this process, ensure the chemical used is anti-viral.

Q – Are there any grants available to businesses?

A – Please check your local council’s business support page for details of any grants that are available in relation to each lockdown.

Q – Do I have to wear a visor/goggles if I am a spectacle wearer?
A – There is a higher a risk of transmission from just wearing spectacles so a

visor/goggles and a type II face mask must be worn.

Q – I own a premises but self-employed personnel work from there, am I still liable?

A – This depends entirely on the individual circumstances of each case. If someone is self-employed, they will generally be responsible for their own safety, however a test will need to be applied to determine whether someone is self-employed or an employee and more information on this can be found in the Health and Safety executives website available here:

What the law says – Self-employed workers – HSE

If it is your business premises you should also consider who has overall control of the business activity and who enters the premises. If this is entirely down to the self-employed staff member, then they must take the same precautions and assessment that an employer would do when considering the health and safety of customers and other people within the premises.

If you have overall control and also have a presence on site, then you would also need to consider the Health and Safety of other people, including the self- employed person, working or entering the premises.