As hairdressers and restaurant owners re-open their businesses, it’s important to realise that getting a haircut or eating outside might increase your exposure to Corona virus.
However, the UK has taken important public health measures to keep the virus to a minimum as possible. It has created a set of rules that these businesses can comply with to ensure that both their staff and clients are safe.
In this article, we’ve highlighted the health and safety guidelines for hairdressers and restaurants. These guidelines are abide by government rules and how you can keep yourself safe when you visit these establishments.
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Young female master cutting hair for male client, both in protective masks.[/caption]
Hairdressers and Barbers
Even though salons and barbershops in the UK are now open, it’s not business as usual. The owners have to adhere to a strict set of health and safety guidelines for hairdressers stipulated by the government. Here’s is what you need to know before going for your next haircut?
Health and Safety Guidelines For Hairdressers: Rules set by the government
Even though the UK government has permitted the re-opening of services linked to treating and cutting hair, services like tanning, and nail salons are to remain closed.
Barbershops and salons will have to operate via an appointment-only system. This means customers will only visit their favourite barbershop UK after making an early appointment.
Additionally, the barber or hairdressers need to inform the customer to get screened for COVID before coming to the shop.
All hairdressers and barbers need to inform their customers and employees about the possible precautions they’ve taken to protect their health and safety within the work environment. Also, they have to keep a temporary record of clients for 21 days.
Considering social distancing is nearly impossible in this situation. Your barber UK or hairdresser needs to use face protection, e.g. a visor or facemask. In the case where a hairdresser uses a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as gloves, masks, or apron, it should be disposed of after a single-use.
According to the National Hair and Beauty Federation, communication between client and staff needs to be at a minimum. Also, discussions need to be side-to-side instead of face-to-face.
Barber and hairdresser must also get rid of items that can’t be disinfected, including magazines and other non-essential items. They have to clean and disinfect reception counters, phones, door handles, computer, keyboard, and light switches.
The government encourages contactless payments, like using card transactions or making payments in advance for the services (avoid cash exchange or giving tips).
Freelance hairdressers/barbers must follow a rigorous hygiene regime when visiting a customer’s home. This includes disinfecting equipment, carrying a gown, and using single-use towels.
It’s also wise to check if anyone in the client's household had been ill within one or two weeks. The barber needs to ask the client to clean and disinfect all surfaces before his arrival.
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Female barber in mask cuts a man hairs with hair clipper. Hairstyle during social distancing.[/caption]
Is Going To The Barber Risky?
Barbers and hairdressers provide close contact services. This means if the barber/ hairdresser carries the virus, you’re at a higher risk of getting infected. The facial protection won’t offer you complete protection since the barber talks or breathes facing downwards.
However, if the hairdresser has followed all the standards to keep the shop free from the virus. Including keeping everything disinfected and sterilised, and re-training the staff on important hygiene practices, then you have nothing to fear.
How You Can Protect Yourself
1. Wear a Face Mask
The best way to protect yourself and your stylist is to wear a mask- ensure your hairdresser wears one too. Select a mask that your hairstylist can easily work with or around.
Don’t wear a mask with straps that goes over your head, instead find a mask with ear straps. If you’re nervous, add goggles for an extra layer of protection, although they can get in the way.
2. Double-Check With Your Hairdresser If They’ve Sanitised All Equipment
Although most salons and barbershops are most likely doing a thorough cleaning between customers. It doesn’t hurt to double-check with your stylist to ensure all the tools are disinfected and sanitised before starting your treatment.
Try to carry your own disinfectant to wipe the seat, or treatment area before sitting down and clean your hands before and after receiving the service. Also, be aware of what you’re touching, like your mobile device.
3. Spend Less Time In The Barbershop
Try spending as little time as possible in the barbershop or salon. The longer your appointment is, the more exposed you get. Take shortcuts whenever possible like washing your hair and skip the blow-drying.
You’ll reduce your risk of getting exposed to the virus if you spend less time close to your hairdresser.
4. Try Getting Your Stylist To Come To Your Home
Getting your stylist to come to your home reduces your exposure by reducing the number of people you get in contact with.
However, if the person has the virus or then you’re placing yourself and your family at high risk. Consider having the service done in your garden, where the risk is reduced or lower.
Restaurants Safety Guidelines
Just like Salons and barbershops, UK restaurants are up and running. However, the government insists they follow the stipulated restaurant safety guidelines to protect the customers and staff from COVID-19.
If you’ve visited your favourite UK restaurant lately, then you know that things are still not back to normal. The tables are so far from each other, there’s a screen separating you from the hotel worker and social distancing markings are everywhere.
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Woman waitress with face mask serving happy couple outdoors on terrace restaurant.[/caption]
Rules Set By The Government
The government requests that to restaurant owners’ record customer information for 21, to make the tracing process hassle-free in case of a COVID-19 outbreak.
Restaurants should make an effort of keeping a two-meter distance in compliance with the social distancing guidelines stipulated by the government. The employees must maintain social distancing when taking orders from customers.
The restaurant owner should assign a single staff per table and urge them to observe contactless ordering. If the restaurant doesn’t offer table services, it should ensure it uses barriers or screens to separate workers from clients at the point of sale.
Restaurants should restrict access to the kitchen walk-in facilities, such as cold stores, to only one member at a time. Furthermore, the restaurants must reduce the number of people each staff member comes in contact with by using partnering or fixed teams.
They need to make sure that sick customers and employees stay at home: no one should work in an unsafe work environment. They also need to minimise cases where customer serves their own food, or condiments to reduce transmission.
Restaurants should minimise the number of surfaces that staff and customers come in contact with. Also, they need to implement online ordering, via an app, to prevent crowding at the restaurants.
Are Restaurants Safe?
People are still sceptical about dining in restaurants, even though they’re open now. So is it safe to eat in a restaurant?
Yes, it is, if you eat outdoors. The risk of contracting the virus outside is lower. Corona virus droplets disperse quickly into the air than in the closed place. Also outside there is more distance between tables than indoors.
Fully cooked hot foods will most likely be free from the virus, unlike drinks, vegetables, and fruits.
Furthermore, the risk of getting infected with Corona virus is very low. It’s a respiratory virus, meaning it needs to enter the respiratory tract to cause an infection. It can’t achieve this in the gastrointestinal tract.
How You Can Protect Yourself?
1. Wash Your Hands
Wash and dry your hands regularly and thoroughly. If can’t access soap and water, use alcohol-based hand Sanitisers. So this after handling money, before eating and after using the bathroom.
2. Stick To Outdoor
You’re at a lower risk of contracting the virus outside. But if you have to sit indoors, maintain a distance of at least 1.5 meters from other people, unless they’re your family members. Also, stick to your table and avoid going to the restaurant toilet or bathroom.
3. Avoid Communal Cutlery
Although regular washing and sterilisation of utensils and cutlery inactivate the Corona virus, you must avoid using cutlery on the communal pot, especially if it was there before your arrival.
Overall, the stipulated health and safety guidelines for hairdressers and restaurant set by the government must be followed. This means they’re doing everything possible to protect you from the novel Corona virus. However, it’s wise to take precautions to ensure you’re protected and to lower the risk of exposure.