I was very happy with the further lifting of lockdown measures. We have already been advised by the Department of Health that:
‘Services which involve healthcare need to take into account any advice or guidance issued by regulators, the relevant professional body, Chief Professional Officers, or the NHS, as appropriate
The Department cannot provide comments on individual cases of whether or not a business is permitted to open. It is for each business to assess whether they are a business exempt from closing having considered the Regulations, which can be found here. ‘
As professionals, we should be capable of risk assessing and implementing appropriate precautions. Our particular profession has not been specified but now that the public can get their hair cut, I cannot see any risks greater than those presented in a hair salon, that I cannot manage in compliance with PHE guidelines and professional standards.
The fact that we are not included on the ‘must remain closed’ list means that I am not in fear of breaching the legislation. I am quite clear that my practice is not a salon, spa or nail bar.
This does not represent a return to ‘business as usual’; a great deal of preparation and changes to the normal patient journey have been made (as per the Save Face Covid-19 Operational Protocol), but I am very comfortable now, that I can see patients again, without any reservations.
I understand everyone has been thrown a loop by the latest changes in the lockdown measures. We have all been hanging on for 4th July, because we’ve been wedded to the notion that is when salons can open (non-essential personal care). WE can open.
I’d like to remind everyone that Save Face has never aligned ourselves to salons and personal care. Since June, we have shared the communication we have had with the Government – the decision when to open has been left in our own hands- with reference to:
- PHE guidelines
- The Covid-19 legislation
- Advice from professional bodies.
We have felt that clinics were in a position to risk assess and provide a safe environment for patients to have their treatments, the only sticking points remained whether the public, who were still being advised only to leave the house for essential reasons – can you argue these are essential treatments for ALL your patients (personally, I couldn’t at that time, so chose to remain closed), and also insurance- insurers were leaning on ambiguity which was a little unnerving.
I see the lifting of numerous restrictions and in particular the green light to go to the hairdressers as a clear basis for me to open. I am NOT a salon, a nail bar, or a spa. I am not on the exemption list in the legislation. As far as risk is concerned, My service represents a lower risk than a hair salon with no hairdryers or brooms sweeping, no lengthy appointments (for the treatments I’m planning to offer), no instruments I need to reuse, and I could go on.
Why hairdressers and not salons? That’s because there are so many various treatments provided by beauty salons; facials, massage, waxing instruments and lotions and potions that are not single-use et cetera et cetera. I suspect it will be sometime before there are sufficient risk assessments and protocols in place for salons to follow consistently. In nail bars, spas and gyms the risks are obvious. I am optimistic insurers will be able to move on now too and be clear on our cover.
No organisation or body is going to tell YOU when to open but Save Face and others have given you guidance on how to do so safely. Nothing in the legislation now prevents you from doing so, providing you can evidence, if needed, all the measures required by your professional body, by PHE, and in your patients’ best interests.
As the situation changes, just remember to review and update your risk assessments.
I would encourage all Save Face members to implement the Save Face Covid-19 Operational Protocol and complete the declaration in order to be certified against the standards. To help communicate these measures to your patients, please utilise the Covid-19 Save Face Safety Charters and Consent forms.