COVID alert levels and what they mean for your salon
As of the 12th of October, the UK Department of Health and Social Care has subdivided the country into localised COVID alert levels (also known as tiers) in order to better track and to slow down the spread of COVID-19. These levels range from medium to high and very high – but what does this mean for your hair or beauty salon? Are you required to go into lockdown? Will you have to introduce even more safety protocols? Read on to find out!
Tip: stay up to date with the latest information on local COVID alert levels in the UK here.
How will these alert levels impact your business?
Upon implementing the COVID alert levels, all areas in England have been classified under “medium”, apart from those which have high and severe levels of COVID-19 outbreaks, which subsequently have been moved to high and very high alert levels. So, are beauty salons allowed to stay open, as well as hair salons? Currently, hairdressers and beauty salons can stay open in coronavirus hotspots – however, each alert tier comes with it’s own restrictions that must be followed. Here’s everything you need to know about each one.
Medium alert level
As mentioned previously, all of England has been classified under this category, aside from areas that are more affected by COVID-19. No matter which alert area your business is located in, you are required to follow the work safety guidelines for close contact businesses and work with Test and Trace. As for medium alert areas, you are also required to:
- make sure staff who have self-isolated do not come to work – however, if appropriate, they may work from home.
- make sure clients in your salon do not come in contact with other clients who are outside of their household.
It would be also wise to keep your clients and staff up to date with the latest regulations you’re required to follow. Make sure to meet with your team and discuss the current situation and how to implement potential regulations imposed by the government. As for your clients, make sure that they submit their data to Test and Trace – you ought to send them an SMS, reminding them to do so upon arriving at the salon, as well as inform them of the safety protocols that need to be upheld at the business and have them fill out your digital health screening questionnaire before their visit – all of which can be done with the help of Versum. Your free system is available at the end of this article – don’t forget to sign up!
High alert level
Although this tier means that an area has more COVID-19 outbreaks, there currently aren’t any significant changes to the requirements enforced on close contact businesses. Hair and beauty salons can continue to operate, however, maintaining social distancing, wearing the appropriate facial coverings and following the latest safety guidelines is essential in order to operate legally.
Although not required by law, it is recommended that you (and your team) avoid using public transportation and refrain from travel and social gatherings when not essential.
Very high alert levels
Although hairdressing and beauty salons can stay open in tier 3 lockdown areas, there are a number of restrictions that have been put in place in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. It is important to note that safety protocols at this stage are subject to regular changes, as they are being disputed between central and local government bodies. Along with following the latest safety guidelines, it is crucial that you encourage clients and staff to maintain social distancing and refrain from travelling.
Although these guidelines are very basic for the time being, the government will seek additional interventions in consultation with local authorities to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Regulations that may affect hair and beauty businesses may include:
- closing personal care and close contact services
- prohibiting certain treatments that pose a high risk of spreading COVID-19
It is important to note that all regulations enforced by the law must be followed in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Failing to abide by them can result in fines of up to £10,000 being imposed on your business, persecution and even forced closure. And as the business owner, you are responsible for not only your team, but also your clients. Make sure to stay up to date with the coronavirus restrictions in your local area with the help of the government’s COVID alert level tool, which will inform you of your area’s current restrictions, allowing you to prepare accordingly. And don’t forget to grab your free Versum account, to help in the communication with clients, storing their information and collecting health screening survey data.