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Close contact services in England – an update

From Monday, July 13 in England*, more beauty and physical therapy businesses, such as beauty salons, have been able to reopen safely, provided they meet COVID-19 secure guidelines.

The Government has released updated practical guidance that sets out the measures those providing close contact services should follow to protect themselves, colleagues and clients.

What this means for practitioners/therapists

The updated guidance is also designed for those who provide mobile close contact services from their homes and in other people’s homes, such as massage therapists, so is vital reading for BSY practitioners/therapists.

This guidance can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/close-contact-services – click ‘Download this guidance’ to access a full PDF version of the latest guidance (updated on July 9 at the time of writing).

Only services that do not involve work in the highest risk zone – directly in front of the face – should be made available to clients. Therefore, no treatments are to be provided on the face until Government advice changes.

Where 2 metre social distancing cannot be maintained, for example when providing a permitted treatment, the practitioner/therapist 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/therapist and the client from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or speaking.

Further mitigating actions as outlined in the Government’s guidance includes keeping the treatment time as short as possible; considering providing shorter, more basic treatments to keep the time to a minimum, or offering alternative treatments including tutorials to clients where services/treatments cannot be provided.

A risk assessment, which is mandatory for businesses, will enable practitioners/therapists to identify sensible measures to control the risks – much more information on this is included in the latest Government advice.

We strongly recommend that practitioners/therapists check with their insurer that they are covered for returning to practice and check if the insurer requires any evidence of measures practitioners/therapists have taken to ensure they are managing the risks.

If any local restrictions are in place or come into force, practitioners/therapists must also follow all instructions from the local authorities.

You can stay up to date with the latest public health information at:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus (from here you can also access help and advice for businesses and the self-employed)
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

*As public health is devolved in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the Government guidance should be considered alongside local public health and safety requirements and legislation in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. For advice to businesses in other parts of the UK please refer to guidance set by the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government, and the Welsh Government.

Categories: BSY