Essential advice on staying safe in barbershops and hair salons

On Saturday 4th July hairdressers and barbers reopened their doors across England, fifteen weeks since they closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The announcement by the Prime Minister has been welcomed by many who are looking forward to their first haircut in nearly four months. However, these venues will look and operate differently to how they did before the outbreak.

To help prepare the public a new film aims to reassure customers that all hair salons and barbershops will ensure the health and safety of customers and staff. The short film features award-winning barber Mark Maciver of SliderCuts, and owner of Hype Coiffure, Calvin Rattray, a leading African Caribbean hair salon highlighting what to expect ahead of the weekend and explaining how hairdressers are protecting customers and staff with the new safety measures in place.

Mark Maciver, owner of SliderCuts and barber to the stars said: “We’re really excited to open up and welcome our customers back to get those Jackson Five afros back into shape. Barbershops have a unique culture that has been greatly missed by the community – the conversations and laughter we regularly enjoy. However, the safety of our customers and staff is vitally important especially as the black community has been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.  

“We’ve introduced a number of new measures in line with the government guidelines to reduce the risk in our community.  We’ve rearranged the seating and reduced the waiting area to ensure social distancing. We’ll be encouraging clients to use hand sanitiser whilst in the shop and there will be regular cleaning after each client. All my staff will be wearing visors and gloves whilst doing hair. These are just some of the measures we’ve put in place. 

“I’d advise people to contact the salon before turning up to check what measures have been put in place. We can’t wait to see you all very soon.”

Media medic and GP, Dr Zoe Williams comments: “It is important you follow the government guidance on staying safe whenever you are outside your home. Remember: be prepared before you leave your home, check you have your new essentials which include face covering, contactless card, and hand sanitiser. Washing your hands is one of the simplest ways you can protect yourself and others from coronavirus, and it’s important you do this or use hand sanitiser before entering a hair salon, as it reduces the risk of transmission.”

New safety measures for hairdressers and barbershops include:

  • Seating rearranged to maintain social distancing between clients, as well as barriers or screens installed between workstations and clients to help reduce the risk of transmission
  • Staff will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) in the form of a visor when they are in close contact (when social distancing is not possible).
  • Services of magazines and snacks, as well as hot and cold drinks, may not be available.
  • A ‘one-in-one-out’ policy may be in operation, as there may not be a waiting area. Customers may be required to wait or queue outside and for bigger salons, they may need to follow a one-way entry and exit route.
  • Screens or floor markings may be in place to facilitate social distancing.
  • Regularly sanitising any reusable equipment such as client chairs, scissors and clippers, and you may be asked to wear a disposable gown.
  • Frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly including door handles and toilets to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • Measures taken by each establishment will differ so all venues are encouraging customers to check online or to call venues prior to attending.

Furthermore, people may be asked to provide their name and contact details through a booking system. Personal data will only be used to help the NHS Test and Trace service in the event of a new COVID-19 outbreak.

If you or a member of the household has symptoms of coronavirus, you must not visit any public space including hair salons and barbershops. If you, or any other adult in your household, shows any symptoms including: a new continuous cough; a high temperature; a loss of, or change in your normal sense of taste or smell, it’s vital to stay at home and book a test to check if you have the virus as soon as you can. You can book a test on the website: nhs.uk/coronavirus or via 119.

For more information on staying safe outside your home, visit gov.uk/enjoy-summer-safely

Award-winning barber Mark Maciver @SliderCuts and Calvin Rattray of @HypeCoiffure, a leading African Caribbean hair salon explain the changes and safety measures which have been put into place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading  #EnjoySummerSafely

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