New regulations: what’s in it for barbers, beauty salons, and hairdressers

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As of Friday 22 May, people will now be able to book an appointment with their professional hairdresser and beauticians. On Monday evening, Prime Minister Robert Abela announced that barbers, hairdressers and beauticians can reopen, with restrictions and safety measures to protect staff and clients.

The Malta Business Weekly put together the guidelines and mitigation measures for hair salons, barbers and beauticians.

Perspex barriers should be fitted in reception areas

The following are mandatory conditions to be observed by Hair Salons and Barbers:

· The maximum capacity of clients inside the salon at any one time is one person per 10 square metres, excluding staff.

· Perspex barriers should be fitted in reception areas (2 metres from the floor)

· Hand sanitizers must be made available at the reception area and near all workstations for employee and client use

· Wearing masks or visors are mandatory at all times for clients, suppliers and staff

· Workstations/ styling chairs must be kept at a minimum distance of 2 metres from each other or separated by a Perspex barrier which is 2 metres high.

· These barriers must be cleaned properly after every client.

Shaving beards is prohibited: What services are banned

Whilst services can restart, there are certain services which are still banned to prevent the risk of COVID-19.

· Barbers are prohibited from shaving or restyling beards

· Handheld hairdryers and other electrical equipment which requires airflow are not recommended.

· Avoid dry cuts

· Avoid use of talcum powder and neck brushes

· Beauticians should not use steam treatments or vapor generating techniques

· Facials should not be carried out

· Remove non-essential high touch items such as magazines

· Not provide beverages and refreshments for clients

· Do not use handshakes or hugs when greeting clients and colleagues

· Clients will be asked to not bring children with them unless they are clients, or are very young or have special needs

· Walk-ins will not be allowed so all appointments will have to be made in advance.

In regards to beauticians, pedicure bowls must be disassembled and disinfected after every client. In regards to waxing procedures, wax should be changed after every client. Wax pots should be emptied and disinfected before refilling them with wax or else use disposable pots. Disposable spatulas must not be reused. Waste should be disposed of in an airtight trash bin, which should have a lid and be lined with a disposable plastic bag. All products, lotions, creams, scrubs are to be stored in a closed container and if not should be discarded.

Staff must ensure that the salon is thoroughly cleaned with a disinfectant between clients and that equipment/tools be washed and sterilised after each client.

Temperature should be checked before entering salon

Whilst walk-ins are now prohibited and consultations will now take place over the phone or video chat, what will it be like entering a salon on Friday? Clients will have to book an appointment online or via telephone and appointments must be spaced out to avoid clients coming into contact with ach other and also provide enough time for cleaning the workstation between clients.

· Clients cannot wait inside the salon and must arrive just before the appointment and leave immediately after

· Clients must have their temperature taken before entering the shop

· Floor stickers and signage which provides guidance for social distancing is recommended

· Management should keep a record of names, contact details and date of treatment/ appointment to facilitate contact tracing should this be required

· Any information about services, prices and follow up appointments will also be given electronically, over the phone and through virtual consultations

Can vulnerable people get a haircut or beauty treatment?

The guidelines recommend staff to “as far as possible not allow” vulnerable people. Therefore elderly people, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions can be refused to enter the shop. Management have the right to refuse clients if they are visibly unwell or have respiratory symptoms including coughing, fever, and shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat.