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Frequently Asked Questions - Coronavirus

Coronavirus

What services are salons allowed to do in Scotland?

The Scottish Government guidelines are on their website at https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-retail-sector-guidance/pages/close-contact-services/ These include a questions and answers section which can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-retail-sector-guidance/pages/close-contact-services-questions-and-answers/.

Are treatments on the face allowed in England?

All services, including those in the highest risk zone are permitted. The person providing a service, because of the period of time spent in close proximity to a person’s face, mouth and nose should therefore wear further protection in addition to any that they might usually wear. This should take the form of a clear visor/goggles and a Type II Face Mask. Clear visors cover the face (and typically provides a barrier between the wearer and the client from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or speaking). Visors must fit the user and be worn properly. They should cover the forehead, extend below the chin, and wrap around the side of the face. Both disposable and re-usable visors are available. A re-usable visor must be cleaned and disinfected between each client using normal cleaning products. A Type II face mask should be worn with the visor. Type II face masks are not PPE but will provide a physical barrier to minimise contamination of the mouth and nose when used correctly. Ensure you are hydrated before putting a mask on. Type II face masks are medical face masks made up of a protective 3-ply construction that prevents large particles from reaching the client or working surfaces. 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. From 24 September, it is mandatory in law for people providing a close contact service to wear a clear visor/goggles and Type II Face Mask. Goggles may be used as an alternative to a clear visor, when worn with a Type II face mask. Goggles provide eye protection to the wearer. To be worn in place of a clear visor, goggles must be close fitting with no obvious openings or vents that would otherwise allow droplets to enter the eyes. Reusable eye protection should be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions. ​

Where do you publish the latest updates for Coronavirus and insurance cover.

We are updating these FAQs regularly to refelect the questions we are being asked. For general infromation and advice for Guild Members click here

Can I work mobile in COVID Alert Levels, tier 2 & 3 areas? (high and very high).

Mobile therapists can still operate in private homes under Tier 2 restrictions. The same will apply to Tier 3 restrictions, unless the Local Authority Leaders decide to close close contact services during the period they are in Tier 3

Can I still work from home if I live in a Covid Alert Level, Tier 2 or 3 area?

If you live in one of these areas and run a home based business, you should only continue to operate if it is possible to separate the areas in your home used for business from the areas used for social and domestic purposes. There are 3 steps to consider. 1. Can you establish one room in the house which can be designated for clients and treatments only? 2. Can you organise two completely separate routes of entry into your treatment room, ie one for clients and one for members of your household? 3. Do you have two or more toilets and washroom facilities such that one can be designated for clients and one for the other members of your household? If you can satisfy all three of these steps you should be able to offer treatments safely under the Government guidelines without putting your clients and the other members of your household at risk. If you not able to satisfy all three steps it does not mean that you cannot offer treatments, but it does mean that you will need to carefully organise the way you manage your clients and their visit to your home. You will need to consider what additional cleaning and sanitation routines are required. PLUS – you will also need to discuss and establish with the members of household a set of rules regarding which areas they need to avoid and what additional cleaning routines they will need to be aware of. NOTE: Because there are so many different variations in household layouts and because the rules regarding household bubbles and vulnerable people are so different and subject to change, we are not able to provide individual advice to members on this matter. You will need to do your own risk assessment and refer to the Government and NHS websites to get the latest information. Ultimately, the decision here is down to you as the business owner and the people who live in your household, some of whom may be vulnerable to the virus.

Can I do treatments on a client that has had COVID-19?

If a client indicates they have had COVID-19, our current advice to members is to seek permission from their GP or consultant before the treatment goes ahead, even if the client is now feeling well and no longer self-isolating. COVID-19 is a new virus and there is still much to learn about its short and long-term effects on those who have been infected. It is therefore best to get input from a medically qualified professional before going ahead with a treatment.

Can I do treatments in my home salon, if a member of my household has been tested positive for Coronavirus?

If you provide treatments in your home and another member of your household has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive, even if you are well, you must self-isolate and not see clients in your home until it is safe to do so. Please read further details in this link click here

Can I treat a client that has recently returned from abroad?

You will need to check the Government’s website, as to whether your client has returned from a country where they need to self-isolate on their return. Please open this link for more information. click here Health and Care workers returning to England from high risk countries also have to self-isolate for 14 days. Children also need to self-isolate for the required amount of time on their return.

Is it compulsory for my clients to wear a face covering when they visit my salon or holistic centre?

Government guidelines strongly encourage the use of face coverings for clients. From 8th August 2020 in England, face coverings will become mandatory for clients, other than where it is necessary to remove them for treatments. Full details are on the Government website here. Specific advice on face coverings is also available by clicking the links for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Clients who have a legitimate reason do not have to wear face coverings. Business owners are encouraged to take reasonable steps to promote compliance and can refuse entry to anyone who does not have a valid exemption.

Do I have to wear a face mask, as well as a visor, if there is a health reason why I cannot wear a mask?

You will have to wear a mask and visor/goggles at all times for all your treatments. This is in the Government Guidelines, and Guild Insurance will only be in place if you follow these guidelines.

How do I ensure I am following the correct salon and personal hygiene?

If you have completed the Guild's COVID-19 Infection Prevetion and Control course, you are abe to read through the course modules again, which covers hygiene, and view the course downloads. If you would like to complete the Guild's COVID-19 course please click here

Can I offer treatments to a pregnant client?

Pregnant clients are either 'clinically extremely vulnerable' (high risk) or 'clinically vulnerable' (moderate risk). Open this link to the NHS guidelines to see what category they fall under. click here If they are in the 'clinically extremely vulnerable' (high risk) then you should not offer any treatment. If they fall under the 'clinically vulnerable' (moderate risk) you can only carry out a treatment after the first trimester and you have obtained written consent for the treatment to go ahead from the client's GP or Midwife. Please open this link to the NHS guidelines on pregnancy and coronavirus. click here.

Can I treat a client who is vulnerable or extremely vulnerable?

People who are clinically vulnerable or extremely clinically vulnerable should follow the Government guidelines on what steps they need to take to protect themselves. This information is subject to change and the latest information can be found on the NHS website here. People who are clinically vulnerable are advised that they can meet people outdoors and indoors, but should be especially careful and be diligent about social distancing and hand hygiene. It is therefore unlikely that they will request a treatment which involves close contact with a therapist. If you are asked to book an appointment by a client who is clinically vulnerable, we recommend that you ask them to obtain GPs or midwife’s consent before doing the treatment. Our advice to Guild members is do not treat people who are extremely clinically vulnerable. Apart from the obvious risks from Covid-19, the medical conditions that these people have would in most cases be a contra indication to treatment.

How will health and safety regulations be enforced?

Where the enforcing authority, such as the Health and Safety Executive or your local authority, identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks (for example, not completing a new risk assessment taking account the risk of COVID-19, or taking insufficient measures in response), they will consider a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. This includes giving specific advice to a business, or issuing an improvement notice, which a business must respond to in a fixed time, or a prohibition notice. Failure to comply is a criminal offence, which can lead to fines or imprisonment for up to two years, giving the COVID-secure guidelines indirect legal enforceability

Do I have to wear gloves for every treatment?

No. Some treatments such as massage, facials etc require skin to skin contact between the therapist and the client. It is essential to maintain good hand hygiene when doing these treatments and avoid touching the face. For other treatments where it is not crucial to the treatment, you should avoid skin to skin contact by wearing disposable gloves.

Do I need to do a patch test if I have not seen my client for a while?

The normal rules will apply to patch testing, so if the supplier of the product gives a specific instruction to re-patch test the product after a certain period of time between treatments, you must follow these instructions for your insurance to be in place.

Are there any restrictions regarding the length of time a treatment can take?

No. However, businesses are advised to consider providing shorter, more basic treatments.

How can mobile therapists ensure they can operate in a COVID-19 secure way?

When working on a mobile basis, the environment that you are working in is not in your control. Before accepting an appointment, you should pre-screen the client to check they have no symptoms of COVID-19 and that they are not vulnerable or clinically vulnerable. When arranging the appointment, you will need to establish 1. who will be at the house other than the client, 2. where will the treatment take place, 3. what facilities will be available for hand washing and toilets, 4. how will these treatments or services be carried out and what equipment is required, 5. when the appointment is scheduled for and how long it will take. When you arrive at the appointment you will need to carry out a risk assessment to decide if you can provide the treatment or service safely.

Does my client have to wear a face mask for a back massage?

Clients can removed their mask if they are lying face down, and wearing a mask would restrict their breathing. You will need to include on your treatment risk assessment, what you will put in place for infection control. For example, if there is a breathing hole, then this must be disinfected after treatment. Clients need to reapply their mask when they turn back over.

How does the NHS Test and Trace process work?

The NHS test and trace service will help to control the rate of reproduction (R), reduce the spread of the infection and save lives. By playing your part through the actions set out below, you will directly help to contain the virus by reducing its spread. This means that, thanks to your efforts, we will be able to go as far as it is safe to go in easing lockdown measures. The details are on the Government website here. In England from 24 September, you must also register for an official NHS QR code and display this on your premises, so that clients and visitors can scan this, using the NHS COVID-19 app. This includes mobile therapists. Your clients are not obliged to use the NHS QR code. If they don’t use the code, you will need to continue to log client details for NHS test and trace as you have already been doing. To register for NHS QR Code click here. For more information on the NHS QR codes click here

What client information do I need to collect for the NHS Test and Trace process?

You should collect your client’s:
Name
Contact phone number
Date and time of appointment
Which member of staff did the treatment
No additional data should be collected for this purpose.

What can I do if a client does not wish to share their details?

Although this is voluntary, please encourage customers and visitors to share their details in order to support NHS Test and Trace and advise them that this information will only be used where necessary to help stop the spread of COVID-19. If a customer or visitor informs you that they do not want their details shared for the purposes of NHS Test and Trace, they can choose to opt out, and if they do so you should not share their information used for booking purposes with NHS Test and Trace. The accuracy of the information provided will be the responsibility of the individual who provides it. You do not have to verify an individual’s identity for NHS Test and Trace purposes. For full details see here.

Would I be insured as a Full Guild Member to return to work before the Government has confirmed it safe to do so?

The Guild insurance policy covers you for negligence arising in the course of treatments you provide. However you must follow the latest Public Health England and Government guidelines. The policy does not cover any claim or loss directly or indirectly due to any act, breach or omission the member deliberately or recklessly commits, condones or ignores.