Beauty salons are to reopen in England next week – but face waxing, eyelash treatments, make-up application and facials are not allowed.
Nail bars, tattoo and massage studios, body and skin piercing services, physical therapy businesses and spas will also be able to reopen from Monday under new Government plans.
Updated Covid-19 secure guidance sets out the measures that those providing close contact services should follow to protect staff and customers.
Only services that do not involve work in the highest risk zone – directly in front of the face – should be made available to clients, the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said.
This means that treatments such as face waxing, eyelash treatments, make-up application and facial treatments should not be provided until Government advice changes – due to the much greater risk of transmission.
Where two-metre social distancing cannot be maintained, for example when providing a treatment, the person providing the service should wear further protection in addition to any that they may usually wear.
This should be a clear visor that covers the face, or the use of a screen or other barrier that protects the practitioner and the customer from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or speaking.
The Government has worked with a range of stakeholders in the beauty industry to develop the measures close-contact services will need to consider to become Covid-19 secure.
These include screens, appointment-only booking systems, minimising time spent on the premises, increased hand washing and surface cleaning, using disposable equipment where possible, and avoiding skin-to-skin contact.
Other measures include maintaining sufficient spacing between customer chairs, banning food or drink other than water,
and making sure a limited and fixed number of workers work together, if they have to be in close proximity to do their jobs.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “We have been clear throughout this crisis that we want as many businesses as possible to reopen, but we must be confident it is safe for them to do so.
“From July 13, thousands more businesses which offer close-contact services like nail and beauty salons will be able to welcome customers back in a way that is safe for both workers and the public.
“Enabling these often small, independent businesses to reopen is yet another step in our plan to kickstart the economy to support jobs and incomes across the country.”
Millie Kendall, from the British Beauty Council, said: “It’s a positive step, but we are still only part of the way there.
“We will keep working closely with governing bodies and supporting everyone in beauty until we are able to achieve the fully-reinvigorated beauty industry we all want.”
The guidance also applies to businesses that operate in different locations, such as massage therapists working in people’s homes, and those learning in vocational training environments.
Businesses will need to keep records of staff and customers and share these with NHS Test and Trace where requested, to help identify people who may have been exposed to the virus.
Businesses will only be able to open from these dates once they have completed a risk assessment and are confident they are managing the risks.
The Government said businesses must have taken the necessary steps to become Covid-19 secure in line with the current Health and Safety legislation.