New rules on client face coverings from 8 August!

Listen up! The UK Government has updated its guidance on face masks and face coverings for clients in hair salons and barbershops based in England.

The new rules for clients in England which will take effect from Saturday 8 August state:

The list of places where face masks and face coverings must be worn now include barbershops and hair salons as well as nail and beauty salons.

The guidance does explain that masks can be removed where necessary for treatments.

The rules for other parts of the UK are different so for the latest information please click here for Northern Ireland, click here for Scotland and click here for Wales.

NHBF’s chief executive Hilary Hall said: “We have been working tirelessly with the media throughout the UK to provide correct up-to-date information for the hair and beauty industry. One of our key messages since hair salons and barbershops were allowed to reopen was the importance of following the government guidelines, including wearing the recommended PPE.  Last month alone, this message reached over 7billion people.

We are also working closely with the governments across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and haven’t heard of any plans to close salons. It has been announced that additional powers have been given to local authorities to close down premises, which could include individual salons and barbershops if they are not following the guidelines.”

How to enforce the rule changes for face masks and face coverings in hair salons and barbershops in England

From Saturday 8 August there will be enforcement measures for failing to comply with the law to wear face masks and face coverings in hair salons and barbershops unless there is a valid exemption.

Barbershops, hair salons and other premises where face coverings are required are encouraged to take reasonable steps to promote compliance with the law and could refuse entry to anyone who does not have a valid exemption.

Who is exempt from wearing a face mask or face covering in a hair salon or barbershop after 8 August?

The guidance explains there are some circumstances, for health, age or equality reasons, where people are not expected to wear face coverings or face masks.

Hair salons and barbershops will need to be mindful and respectful of such circumstances, noting that some people are less able to wear face coverings and the reasons for this may not be visible to others.

Clients do not need to wear a face covering if they have a legitimate reason not to. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Young children under the age of 11 (Public Health England does not recommend face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
  • Not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness, impairment or disability
  • If putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause your client severe distress
  • If your client is travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • To avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to your client or others
  • To avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm when the client does not have a face covering with them
  • To drink within the hair salon
  • To take medication
  • If a police officer or other official asks your client to remove their face covering.
  • Your client can ask to remove the face mask if they need to speak to someone who relies on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound.

Do clients who are exempt need an official exemption card?

The short answer to this is no. The revised guidance explains that those who have a reason based on age, health or a disability for not wearing a face covering or mask should not be routinely asked to give any written evidence of this.

This means your clients do not need to provide exemption cards to show why they can’t wear a face covering or a mask. No person needs to seek advice or request a letter from a medical professional about their reason for not wearing a face covering either.

Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering as opposed to having to explain it in front of other clients within the salon.

This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign, but this is a personal choice and is not necessary in law.

Click here for the full Government guidance for hair salons and barbershops. 

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