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How to Safely Maintain Operations During the Pandemic

By overwhelming request, here are the official recommendations of BeautyCouncil on how to safely maintain personal service operations during the pandemic. However, please note:

  1. All business owners are responsible for staying up to date with and following their local laws and regulations. Our recommendations do not supersede anything stated by national, provincial or local health authorities.
  2. While our recommendations are based on the official protocol guidelines of WorkSafeBC, work is still necessary by each individual business owner to:
    1. develop an official COVID-19 Safety Plan specifically suited to your business, and;
    2. continuously monitor and adapt your COVID-19 Safety Plan for effectiveness.

Where We Are Now:

We are currently in Phase 3 of BC’s Restart Plan, which means personal service establishments are authorized to operate. However, given that we were mandated to close from April 16th to May 19th, 2020, we know that this is not a guarantee. The personal service industry is inherently higher risk because we cannot maintain physical distancing with our clients. So, we must all do our part to limit the spread of the virus within our industry — especially during the upcoming cold and flu season. Please: be safe and respectful, represent our industry with professionalism, and do your part to protect your business and the businesses of your peers.

How It Works:

Create and monitor your official COVID-19 Safety Plan using this template, and our guide below. Implement as many practices as you can within each category before moving onto the next. 

  1. Physical Distancing + Minimizing Contact

Simple: Limit the number of people in your workplace and limit contact between those that are there. As we cannot maintain 6 feet of distance from our clients while we provide services, it’s crucial that we are extra vigilant at all other times and in all other areas.

  • Set an occupancy limit that allows 6 feet between all people within your space
  • Stagger schedules if needed, and set scheduling “groups” so that the same people are consistently working together
  • Rearrange workstations to keep at least 6 feet of distance
  • Do not overlap client booking times
  • Have clients wait outside until their appointment time (communicate this at the time of booking so they don’t arrive early, and have signage outside the door)
  • Where possible, assign administrative and other tasks to be done at home or after hours
  • Remove additional furniture or items that could get in the way of distancing and/or encourage gathering or handling. For example:
    • Remove additional seating in lobby, waiting area, and breakroom
    • Remove self-serve water and/or refreshment stations
    • Remove testers and additional stock from retail area (provide signage that a service provider can help handle items)
    • Remove any magazines, literature or décor items that could encourage handling
  • Have clients keep personal belongings with them, or provide them with instructions on where they can store the items themselves
  • Finally, what services could be shortened or eliminated if necessary?
  1. Physical Barriers

Where physical distancing isn’t possible, install physical barriers wherever possible.

  • Use this guide from WorkSafeBC to help you implement effective barriers
  • Here and here are two local BC suppliers, but any plexiglass, acrylic or solid barrier will do
  • Consider installing barriers
    • between workstations
    • at the point of sale or front desk
    • between hair-washing sinks
    • between bathroom sinks
    • to divide storage areas for staff and client personal items
    • in waiting area
    • in breakroom
    • Finally, what services could accommodate a barrier? For example, perhaps manicures. 
  1. Rules, Standards + Policies

Implement rules, standards and policies where the first two levels of protection can’t be maintained. These rules will include cleaning and disinfecting, traffic management, people management, and proper use of tools and equipment. This will be the most extensive area in terms of items implemented, and it’s where much of your energy will be spent monitoring your COVID-19 Safety Plan to ensure effectiveness. This is because it relies on the behaviour of others.

  • Make sure you and your team are BeautySafe certified
  • No sharing of tools, equipment or supplies between service providers whenever possible
  • Thorough sanitation of all tools, equipment and supplies between each client and handling by a different person, including submerging for at least 10 minutes
  • Use “virucidal” cleansing agents (will be labelled as such)
  • Regular and scheduled disinfection of all used surfaces (tables, desks, POS, door handles, keyboard, phone, etc.)
  • Mandatory hand sanitization by all at entry points
  • Mandatory hand washing between clients for all staff
  • All capes, gowns, towels and linens laundered between each use in at least 65 degrees C, stored in plastic bags while waiting to be laundered, and properly dried through before storing away. Do not shake linens.
  • One-way flooring guide for entry and exit, as well as 6-ft-apart “stand here” markers for areas prone to congestion
  • Book appointments with a 10-minute gap to ensure time for disinfecting
  • COVID-19 screening questionnaires for all workers and clients. Consider using this online tool from the provincial government.
  • No penalties for workers or clients who need to miss appointments due to symptoms
  1. Masks

Without the ability to always physically distance with our clients, masks are a no-brainer. It’s simple: make masks mandatory to keep our industry at work!

  • Make masks mandatory for every person (workers and clients) in your workplace
    • The one exception: while providing a facial service, a client may remove their mask for the portion of the service that it’s necessary
  • Post this guide for proper mask use

FAQs

Is blow-drying safe?

Short answer: yes. For more details, click here.

What if someone is medically exempt from wearing a mask?

Short answer: you are not required to accommodate them. For more details, click here.

Are there consequences to not being compliant with safety protocols?

Short answer: yes. For more details, click here.

I don’t operate in BC; do these guidelines apply to me?

Short answer: for the most part, but you are still responsible for adhering to your local regulations and guidelines — even within BC. For more details, click here.

Are there any additional rules and regulations for the winter?

Short answer: not at this time, but this is subject to change. For more details, click here.

Do you have questions, suggestions, updates or feedback? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Let’s come together as a community to ensure we are all operating safely and effectively.