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COVID-19 Guidance for Personal Service Settings

Personal service settings must comply with the Personal Service Settings Regulation 136/18 in addition to Ontario's Emergency Orders and guidance from Niagara Region Public Health.

Personal service settings include:

  • Hairstyling and barbering
  • Tattooing
  • Micropigmentation
  • Body piercing
  • Electrolysis
  • Nail salons
  • Aesthetic services

This guidance is to support owners / operators on how to reopen personal services settings while reducing the risk of staff and clients from contracting COVID-19.

For more information, call the Info-Line at 905-688-8248 press 7 or toll-free at 1-888-505-6074.

Get health inspection results from facilities in Niagara including food, tattoo, hair salons pools and beaches.

COVID-19 transmission

Respiratory transmission

COVID-19 is an illness that spreads mainly from person-to-person through close contact from respiratory droplets of someone with COVID-19. The respiratory droplets can travel up to two metres / six feet when we cough, sneeze or talk.

Contaminated surfaces

It's possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes. This new coronavirus can survive on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to 72 hours.

Minimum guidance requirements

The guidance outlines minimum requirements. Businesses are encouraged to create their own internal policies and procedures to ensure the health and safety of clients and staff are maintained.

  • Protective measures to keep everyone safe
    • Stay home when you're sick
    • Clean your hands often for 20 seconds, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
    • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or tissue
    • Keep a two metre distance from others, when possible
    • Wear a face covering / mask when you're in an enclosed, public setting and cannot maintain physical distancing requirements
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Employee health screening and attendance

    Recommendations for employee health screening and attendance at your place of business:

    • Communicate to staff the changes being made to protect them against COVID-19 by posting signage, and updating information to the website or voicemail, etc.
    • Ensure all staff complete a COVID-19 screening tool before each shift. The questions can be completed on paper or ask your staff directly. See our sample COVID-19 screening tool.
    • Stagger or adjust working hours and shifts to reduce the number of staff in your business
    • Have a flexible sick policy to encourage staff to remain home when they're sick
    • Remind employees about the importance of reporting illness to their supervisor / manager
    • If employees become sick with COVID-19 signs and symptoms while at work, they should go home right away and self-isolate
    • Instruct staff to call Niagara Region COVID-19 Info-Line, their health care provider or an assessment centre to get tested

    If self-isolating, the duration of your self-isolation will be for a minimum of 14 days. For some, self-isolation will last much longer. This is based on your personal health situation. Guidance will be provided by your health care provider or by a public health professional monitoring your case.

    For other illnesses, or if an employee has tested negative for COVID-19, they shouldn't attend work until they are symptom-free for at least 24 hours.

  • Collect client records to help prevent COVID-19 outbreaks

    Full and accurate client details must be recorded. If the client refuses, services cannot be completed.

    • Maintain records of staff and clients to support public health contact tracing efforts, such as full name, date, time and contact information. This also includes those services which were previously exempted by the PSS Regulations (hair salons and barbershops) from collecting client information. This information is critical in the event an exposure has occurred.
    • If a customer or employee tested positive for COVID-19 and were contagious while at the workplace, Public Health will investigate and notify staff and customers who may have been exposed. This may include instructions for staff to self-isolate or self-monitor for COVID-19 signs and symptoms.
    • Anyone with one symptom, even if it's mild, should get tested and stay home
    • Public Health will advise of any additional cleaning and disinfecting measures needed to reduce the risk of spread in the setting
  • Measures to encourage physical distancing
    • Staff and clients must wear a face covering / mask at all times throughout the service, except while clients are receiving services on an area of their face that would otherwise be covered by a face covering / mask
    • Take a walk through the premise / workplace to identify areas needing adjustments, to reduce the spread of COVID-19, based on public health requirements
    • Calculate the number of clients allowed on the premises for ease of movement while maintaining two metres of distance from others
    • Communicate to customers about the changes you have made to protect them against COVID-19, including posting signage, updating information to your website or voicemail, etc.
    • Limit entrances to control staff and customers entering the premise at any given time
    • Limit customer appointments to allow adequate space to maintain physical distancing between customers and staff
    • Don't allow clients to bring guests to the appointment, including children, unless they also have an appointment
    • Post physical distancing at all entrances, by cashiers or service counters
    • Provide visible cues such as tape, stickers or safety cones every two metres for customers lining up when waiting outside
    • Place markers or circles indoors so the clients know where to stand when interacting with staff
    • Remove non-essential furniture to allow ease of movement for physical distancing
    • Install barriers, such as plastic partitions if possible, where there will be close contact between staff and clients, between workstations and at the checkout
    • Don't have clients wait in a waiting room. Ask clients to call when they arrive and wait outside or in their car.
    • Walk-in clients must call from outside the business or in their cars before they can enter
    • Staff should remind clients to stay two metres as much as possible
    • Discourage staff from congregating in lunchroom / common areas
    • Use tap features at checkout instead of cash, where possible
  • Customer screening
    • Screen clients over the phone before booking an appointment. See the COVID-19 screening tool.
    • Screen clients upon entry for appointments
    • Place posters at the entrance to ensure clients don't enter if they have COVID-19 symptoms
    • People with symptoms of COVID-19 shouldn't be allowed into the workplace to avoid spreading the virus to staff and other clients
    • Flexible cancellation / rescheduling policies are encouraged to ensure customers don't attend if they're exhibiting symptoms
  • Masks and face coverings for customers
    • Masks and face coverings are to be worn by customers and staff for the duration of the service
    • Provide disposable masks for clients who have not brought their own
  • Support and encourage proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
    • Staff and customers should perform hand hygiene when entering and exiting the premise
    • Educate employees on proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
      • Clean hands with liquid soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds frequently, before and after the handling of personal protective equipment and after each interaction
      • Cover cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash hands.
    • Provide alcohol-based hand rub in a dispenser for staff and customers at the entrance and at each work station for use
    • Alcohol-based hand rub should contain 60-90 per cent alcohol (preferably 70-90 per cent), a Natural Product Number or Drug Identification Number and be within the product expiry date
    • If using a bulk alcohol-based hand rub container to refill smaller containers within the setting:
      • Don't "top up" existing contents of container
      • When containers become empty, clean and disinfect container, allow to dry and then refill container
      • Label container with new expiry if different from original contents
      • If using an unmarked container, label contents as per WHMIS requirements
    • Continue to top up the supply of soap and paper towels throughout the day
    • Post 6 Step - Hand Washing, Cover your Cough and Hand Washing with alcohol-based hand rub signage in visible locations
  • Support and encourage proper use of personal protective equipment
    • Provide staff training on the proper use of personal protective equipment and the importance of other infection prevention and control measures, such as hand hygiene and physical distancing
    • A mask / face covering must be used while providing services to customers
    • Wearing a non-medical mask / face covering will protect others from the wearer's respiratory droplets and germs
    • Staff should receive clear instructions on the proper use of masks / face coverings, when and how to safely put on, take off and store a mask
    • Use of disposable gloves isn't a substitute for proper hand hygiene
    • If employees use gloves, it's important to change gloves when changing tasks, after every client, or more often as necessary
    • When gloves are removed, new gloves must be used each time. Wash hands with soap and water when hands are visibly soiled or use an alcohol-based hand rub for 20 seconds before putting on and after taking off gloves.
    • If goggles and face shields are used, they should be labelled to the assigned staff and cleaned / disinfected between clients
    • Employees should not share personal protective equipment

    Operators who need help finding personal protection equipment can review the Niagara PPE Provider Directory or the provincial supplier directory. For more information, call the Info-Line at 905-688-8248 press 7, then press 3 or toll-free at 1-888-505-6074.

  • Laundry
    • Dirty towels and linens must be placed in a lined laundry bin for washing with hot water and detergent using a washing machine. Dryers should be used as the heat further kills any viruses.
    • Laundry baskets or reusable bags must be cleaned and disinfected between uses and shouldn't be used for clean towels / capes
    • Use a clean cape for each client, and consider using a disposable barrier between the client and their skin. Clean and disinfect capes between clients.
    • Use a clean towel, not a neck brush, to remove loose hair
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection
    • Cleaning, disinfecting or sterilization of items should continue as indicated in the Personal Services Setting Regulation and the Guide to IPAC in PSS, 3rd edition, including tools, equipment, shampoo bowls, manicure tables, chairs, workstations, etc., and other products after every use
    • Ensure high touch areas and all equipment are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before opening and at least twice daily
    • Remove magazines and soft / porous items such as cushions and rugs that are difficult to clean and disinfect
    • When scheduling appointments, allow additional time between clients for proper cleaning and disinfecting of workstations and equipment
    • Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces and common areas, such as door handles, counters, cabinet doors, light switches, faucets, toilet handles, handrails, touch screen surfaces and keypads
    • Where possible, use disposable, single-use supplies
    • Commonly used disinfectants are effective against COVID-19
    • Use only disinfectants that have a Drug Identification Number or Natural Product Number that confirms it's approved for use in Canada
    • Check the expiry dates of products you use, and always follow the manufacturer's instructions
    • Chlorine bleach solutions may be prepared daily and used for disinfection if appropriate for the surface
    • Ensure single-use items, including masks and gloves, are discarded immediately after use to reduce the risk of contamination. Garbage bins should be lined and garbage is disposed of regularly.

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