Preparing to reopen: Face coverings mandatory for clients

Face coverings are mandatory for clients to wear whilst visiting beauty salons, hairdressers, barbers and spas. Locations where face coverings must be worn by members of the public include:

  • Nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers – other than where necessary to remove for treatments
  • Massage parlours
  • Tattoo and piercing parlours
It is only ‘not necessary' to wear a mask for a treatment on the face subject to other safety measures such as limiting the time in the highest risk zone. Services in the highest risk zone – the area around the face – include, but are not limited to, facial hair removal services, facial treatments, make-up applications. and eyebrow treatments.

Face coverings are not an alternative for employees who wear a visor in close contact services. Everyone working (therapists, hairdressers and barbers) in close proximity for an extended period of time must wear a visor.

Who doesn't need to wear a face covering?

Some people, including disabled people and those who have invisible impairments or conditions such as mental illness, do not need to wear face coverings if they are unable to do so. Please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances, noting that some people are less able to wear face coverings, and that the reasons for this may not be visible to others.

People are not required to prove they are exempt from a face covering. Those who have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing one should not be routinely asked to give any written evidence of this.

Legitimate reasons why a face covering does not need to be worn include (but is not limited to):

  • Young children under the age of 11 (Public Health England do not recommend face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
  • Not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • If putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
  • If you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • To avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
  • To avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
  • To eat or drink if reasonably necessary
  • In order to take medication
  • If a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering
Client Consultations Cards

ABT suggest that Client Consultations Cards evidence the pre-treatment safety check questions / answers, along with the client's temperature, any exemption information and note what type of PPE was worn for the treatment by therapist and client.  This is alongside all the usual consultation questions.

There are safety checks prior to performing the treatment (including full track and trace information) available to view here.

Individual ABT member questions

Due to the complexity, speed and differing factors in play unfortunately ABT cannot answer unique client questions. With over 300 local Authorities, the UK Government and devolved nations, all with potentially different rules, guidelines and plans we cannot offer comment other than to contact your local Authority.  Venues, clients, treatments and geographics are all unique, as is the risk profile of the client; as long as you are operating within the guidance of Government and local Authorities, the policy will respond to claims in the normal way.