As from today, South Africans may visit hair salons, beauty salons, spas and even get a new tattoo… But there are still some restrictions. As part of the South African government’s strategy to mitigate and manage the COVID-19 outbreak among business employees and customers, businesses in the personal care services industry have been allowed to officially open for business. Beauty therapists and barbers alike are overjoyed at this breaking news. A gazette published on Friday 19 June 2020 was signed by Small Business Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.

These personal care services are allowed to operate

The permitted services may only commence with operations, ensuring full compliance with the relevant safety protocols. The categories of services that are deemed safe to resume are the following:

  • Hairdressing;
  • Barbering;
  • Nail and toe treatment;
  • Facial treatment and make-up;
  • Body massage; and
  • Tattooing and body piercing.

All personal care services (whether formal or informal) must comply with all applicable COVID-19 State of Disaster Regulations, guidelines, notices, directives and protocols as issued by the Department of Small Business and Development in respect of operations, employees and the workplace. (See document here)

Safety protocol summary

Adhere to basic principles

Firstly, all salons, including hairdressers, massage parlours and beauty salons must adhere to the basic principles. This includes washing hands, wearing masks and practising social distancing between customers and staff wherever possible.

Disinfect surfaces and equipment

Secondly, your premises, common areas, all touching surfaces, product containers and equipment must be disinfected before and after each session. Also ensure clean, fresh towels are available for each customer.

Encouraged cashless payments

And thirdly, try to limit the use of cash payments. Rather encourage online payments or electronic fund transfers.

Protective clothing

Business owners must also ensure that employees are fitted with adequate personal protective clothing. This includes face shields or visors, face masks, latex gloves and aprons. Where gloves and aprons are used, it should be changed after serving each customer. Aprons can only be re-used when it has been washed with soap and water.

Encourage pre-booking

Pre-booking of appointments will avoid long queues and waiting periods. Remember that 1.5 meters between each customer must be clearly marked out in the waiting areas.

Educate and inform

Explain the new procedures and schedules to your employees. Employees over the age of 60 should rather stay at home. Anyone with flu-like symptoms must stay at home. Inform your customers about the Covid-19 protocols before they are treated. Also put up notices for customer on the Covid-19 protocols.

For more information read the published gazette here.

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