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Close Contact Services

two people socially distancing

This page was updated on the 9 February 2022

England has returned to Plan A 

The government has lifted the measures put in place under Plan B. This means:

  • Workers are no longer asked to work from home if they can. Employers should talk to their workers to agree arrangements to return to the workplace.
  • There is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering. The government suggests that people continue to wear one in crowded and enclosed spaces where they may come into contact with people they do not normally meet.

What is close Contact Services?

Close Contact Services include:

  • hairdressing (See below for more resources)
  • barbershops (See below for more resources)
  • beauty and nail bars
  • makeup
  • tattoo studios (See below for more resources)
  • tanning salons or booths
  • spas and wellness businesses
  • sports and massage therapy
  • well-being and holistic locations
  • dress fitters
  • tailors
  • fashion designers

Carrying out risk assessments

Businesses still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business.

The way to do this is to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks you identify.

Many control measures that have been in place previously were there due to health and safety legislation rather than the specific coronavirus legislation.

It remains very important to implement suitable control measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 between employees and members of the public.

When undertaking your risk assessment you must have regard to the available guidance.

Following the guidance is not compulsory, unless specifically stated, and you are free to take other action, so long as the same level of protection is achieved. But if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law.

Health and safety inspectors seek to secure compliance with the law and may refer to guidance.

Failure to implement suitable control measures may lead to formal action being taken against the duty holder(s).

For more information on COVID-19 risk assessments visit Health and Safety Executive - Coronavirus (COVID-19): working safely.

It is also important to remember that your risk assessment and subsequent controls will be influenced by the prevalence of COVID-19 in the general population of Preston. This includes the number of people in Preston who have received their vaccine and the demographics of your customers, for example age, general health etc. 

When the prevalence of COVID-19 in the general population is considered high then businesses will be expected to implement stricter control measures. When the prevalence of COVID-19 is lower in the general population then fewer or less strict control measures maybe acceptable.  

Guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible, this is the HM Government Guidance. 

When undertaking your risk assessment you must have regard to the available guidance.

Following the guidance is not compulsory, unless specifically stated, and you are free to take other action, so long as the same level of protection is achieved. 

HM Government guidance for Shops, branches, and close contact services for example, Hairdressers, Beauty Salons, Spa's, Massages, Tattoo Studios and Dress Fitters.

If you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law.

Health and safety inspectors seek to secure compliance with the law and may refer to guidance.

Failure to implement suitable control measure may lead to formal action being taken against the duty holder(s).

Posters that all businesses should display

Hairdressers and Barber Shops

Tattoo Salons/Studio's

Beauty Salons/Studio's 

Close Contact Webinar

A webinar on Close Contact Services took place on March 16, 2021, which was hosted by Lancaster City Council in-conjunction with Preston City Council and Pendle Borough Council.

Frequently Asked Questions

What face covering/visor do close contact workers have to wear?

It is no longer law that face coverings must be worn in close contact services by the worker (employee/barber/therapist etc) whilst working in close contact with a customer.

However because they are in close contact with clients for an extended period they are more at risk of contracting Covid-19 therefore it remains good practice to wear face coverings and or a visor.

Do staff and customers have to wear a face covering?

No, it is no longer a legal requirement. However Face Coverings should be worn by both the employee (stylist/barber etc) and the customer, due at the length of time they are near to each other. 

Employees do not need to wear a face covering if protected by a screen or in 'staff only' areas such as back office or staff room. Customers may remove their face mask whilst the face is being treated (beard shave etc).  

Icon for pdf Remove a Face Covering for Beard Trim [583.6KB]

Do I still need to display a QR code?

Being able to identify and trace persons who maybe infectious remains a top priority for the government.

Hospitality venues are strongly encouraged to display an official NHS QR code poster. 

Although not legally required to do so, this will support NHS Test and Trace to contact those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 so that they can book a test.

You can generate an NHS QR code poster online, to enable individuals to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app.

You should also have a system in place to record contact details for those who do not have the app.  Test and Trace Register Template [253.4KB]

How often do I need to clean equipment? 

Ensure all gowns, towels (disposable are better if you can get them), workstations, chairs, backwash, tools, cash point systems, door handles and handrails are deep cleaned after every use. With hairdressing and beauty tools use products such as Barbicide or other suitable disinfectant solution to thoroughly clean your equipment to fight off any potential infection.  

Can a customer pay with cash?

Contactless payment is the preferred payment method however, customers can pay with cash. We would recommend staff wash their hands after handling money. Icon for pdf Contactless Payments: Poster [588.19KB]

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