Patient receives acupuncture on her neck

Clear guidance needed for beauty industry post-lockdown

An opportunity to assist in contact tracing must also not be missed.
17 June 2020 , Katie Coyne

CIEH has suggested a number of improvements to the government’s guidance for the beauty sector re-opening post lockdown.

The beauty sector is a particularly high-risk industry for COVID 19 transmission, due to unavoidable close contact for long periods of time between practitioners carrying out a treatment and the client. 

CIEH has commented on the draft guidance last week, being developed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the safe re-opening of the beauty sector. A number of key points were raised.

The role of local authorities in registering, licensing and enforcing health and safety and infection control in these businesses must be made clear in the guidance, and support given to carry out these functions when the beauty sector re-opens.

An opportunity to assist in contact tracing must also not be missed and guidance should ensure detailed records are kept on all clients and practitioners so that these can assist contact tracers in the event of an outbreak.

Guidance needs to be clear about the status of all popular beauty and special treatments, including cosmetic piercing, acupuncture, fillers and injectables, like botulinum toxins. And to help small and microbusinesses a summary of guidance should be listed for each and could contain diagrams and photographs.

Each business must carry out a dynamic risk assessment to investigate how employers can protect employees and the public and if it is not possible to mitigate the risk or the level of risk is unacceptable, it should not be carried out. CIEH has called for clear ‘red lines’ in the guidance to suggest where that unacceptable level is – the guidance should be clearer on the point at which the business should decide not to perform a particular treatment, for example.

Importantly, advice must also be tailored to each individual procedure. Treatments such as UV tanning, for example, considered on its own, is one of the safest environments as it is very possible to maintain physical distancing but others may require more complicated measures. Focussed advice might include recommendations on the type of effective cleaning products and disinfection.

Policy and campaigns manager Tamara Sandoul said: “We hope the government has all these areas covered in the final guidance as we think they are vital in protecting the public health and safety of practitioners and members of the public post lockdown.

“These are both high risk and non-essential businesses, which will need careful guidance and detailed advice to help avoid a second peak of the virus.

“We are planning to publish our own short guidance document for the beauty and spa sector next week, which will include practical advice on re-opening premises, which have been closed for a long time, and also possible procedures to reduce the chance of COVID 19 transmission.”

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