Barbershops and Salons Allowed To Reopen

It’s time to make an appointment with the person who cuts your hair! Fresno County announced on May 26 that barbershops and salons have permission to reopen. A document has been provided to set rules and guidelines for those businesses to follow. As soon as local shops prove and affirm compliance to these requirements, they may open for business.

One thing, though, will be clear: the barber or cosmetologist will be required to wear a mask. The clients will also be required to to wear masks.

On March 19, 2020, the State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health issued an order requiring most Californians to stay at home to disrupt the spread of COVID-19 among the population.

The impact of COVID-19 on the health of Californians is not yet fully known. Reported illness ranges from very mild (some people have no symptoms) to severe illness that may result in death. Certain groups, including people aged 65 or older and those with serious underlying medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes, are at higher risk of hospitalization and serious complications. Transmission is most likely when people are in close contact with an infected person, even if that person does not have any symptoms or has not yet developed symptoms.

Precise information about the number and rates of COVID-19 by industry or
occupational groups, including among critical infrastructure workers, is not available at this time. There have been multiple outbreaks in a range of workplaces, indicating that workers are at risk of acquiring or transmitting COVID-19 infection. Examples of these workplaces include long-term care facilities, prisons, food production, warehouses, meat processing plants, and grocery stores.

As stay-at-home orders are modified, it is essential that all possible steps be taken to ensure the safety of workers and the public.

Key prevention practices include:
✓ physical distancing to the maximum extent possible,
✓ use of face coverings by workers (where respiratory protection is not required) and customers/clients,
✓ frequent handwashing and regular cleaning and disinfection,
✓ training workers on these and other elements of the COVID-19 prevention plan.
In addition, it will be critical to have in place appropriate processes to identify new cases of illness in workplaces and, when they are identified, to intervene quickly and work with public health authorities to halt the spread of the virus.

This document provides guidance for hair salons and barbershops to support a safe, clean environment for workers and customers. Services for these operations must be limited to services that can be provided with both the worker and customer wearing face coverings for the entirety of the service. For example, haircuts, weaves and extensions, braiding, lock maintenance, wig maintenance, hair relaxing treatments, and color services can be provided. Services that cannot be performed with face
coverings on both the worker and customer or that require touching the customer’s face, e.g., eyelash services, eyebrow waxing and threading, facials, etc., should be suspended until those types of services are allowed to resume. Hair salon or barbershop owners or operators must acknowledge that lessees should only resume operations when they are ready and able to implement the necessary safety measures to provide for their safety and that of their customers. The guidance is not intended to revoke or repeal any employee rights, either statutory, regulatory or collectively bargained and is not exhaustive, as it does not include county health orders, nor is it a substitute for any existing safety and health-related regulatory requirements such as those of Cal/OSHA or the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

Stay current on changes to public health guidance and state/local orders, as the COVID-19 situation continues. Cal/OSHA has more comprehensive guidance on their Cal/OSHA General Guidelines on Protecting Workers from COVID-19 webpage. CDC has additional requirements in their guidance for businesses and employers.

Worksite Specific Plan
• Establish a written, worksite-specific COVID-19 prevention plan at every
location, perform a comprehensive risk assessment of all work areas, and
designate a person at each facility to implement the plan.

• Identify contact information for the local health department where the facility is located for communicating information about COVID-19 outbreaks among workers.

• Train and communicate with workers and employee representatives on the plan.

• Regularly evaluate the facility for compliance with the plan and document and correct deficiencies identified.

• Investigate any COVID-19 illness and determine if any work-related factors could have contributed to risk of infection. Update the plan as needed to prevent further cases.

• Identify close contacts (within six feet for 15 minutes or more) of an infected worker and take steps to isolate COVID-19 positive worker(s) and close contacts.

• Adhere to the guidelines below. Failure to do so could result in workplace
illnesses that may cause operations to be temporarily closed or limited.

• Additional guidance for office workspaces and retail establishments is
available on the COVID-19 Resilience Roadmap webpage.

Topics for Employee Training
• Information on COVID-19, how to prevent it from spreading, and which
underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to
contracting the virus.

• Self-screening at home, including temperature and/or symptom checks
using CDC Guidelines.

• The importance of not coming to work if employees have symptoms of COVID-19 as described by the CDC, such as a frequent cough, fever, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, recent loss of taste or smell, or if they or someone they live with have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

• To seek medical attention if their symptoms become severe, including persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, or bluish lips or face. Updates and further details are available on CDC’s webpage.

• The importance of frequent handwashing with soap and water, including
scrubbing with soap for 20 seconds (or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol when employees cannot get to a sink or handwashing station, per CDC guidelines).

• The importance of physical distancing, both at work and off work time

• Proper use of face coverings, including:
o Face coverings do not protect the wearer and are not personal protective equipment (PPE).
o Face coverings can help protect people near the wearer, but do not replace the need for physical distancing and frequent handwashing.
o Face coverings must cover the nose and mouth.
o Workers should wash or sanitize hands before and after using or adjusting face coverings.
o Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.
o Face coverings should be washed after each shift.

• Ensure independent contractors and temporary workers are also properly
trained in COVID-19 prevention policies and have necessary PPE. Discuss these responsibilities ahead of time with organizations supplying independent contractors and/or temporary workers.

• Information on employer or government-sponsored leave benefits the employee may be entitled to receive that would make it financially easier to stay at home. See additional information on government programs supporting sick leave and worker’s compensation for COVID-19, including employee’s sick leave rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and employee’s rights to workers’ compensation benefits and presumption of the work-relatedness of COVID-19 pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order N-62-20.

Individual Control Measures and Screening
• Provide temperature and/or symptom screenings for all workers at the beginning of their shift and any vendors, contractors, or other workers entering the establishment. Make sure the temperature/symptom screener avoids close contact with workers to the extent possible. Both screeners and workers should wear face coverings for the screening.

• If requiring self-screening at home, which is an appropriate alternative to
providing it at the establishment, ensure that screening was performed prior to the worker leaving the home for their shift and follows CDC guidelines, as described in the Topics for Employee Training section above.

• Encourage workers and customers who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of
COVID-19 to stay home.

• Customers should be screened upon arrival. Be prepared to cancel or reschedule customers who indicate they have any signs of illness.

• Hair salon or barbershop operators should provide and ensure workers use all required protective equipment, including eye protection and gloves when these items are required for their job duties.

• Hair salon or barbershop operators should consider where disposable glove use may be helpful to supplement frequent handwashing or use of hand sanitizer; examples are for workers who are screening others for symptoms or handling commonly touched items.

• Disposable gloves should be worn for services that require them (e.g. chemical hair services). Wearing gloves should be done in conjunction with regular hand washing and is not a substitute for regular hand washing.

• Workers and customers must use face coverings during haircutting and other close contact hair services. Customers are encouraged to wear face coverings with earloops, where possible, to ensure the face covering does not interfere with the hair service. Facilities should provide clean face coverings for staff and customers.

• Workers can consider using glasses, goggles, or face shields in addition to face coverings during the provision of services, particularly during face to face encounters.

• Display a set of guidelines for customers that are to be a condition of entry. The guidelines must include instructions to wear face coverings, use hand sanitizer, maintain physical distance from other customers, and they should communicate changes to service offerings. The guidelines should be posted in clearly visible locations, including at entrances, include pictograms, and be made available digitally (e.g. through email).

Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols
• Keeping the hair salon or barbershop clean is everyone’s responsibility. Coordinate with coworkers, fellow tenants, booth renters and/or staff and put a plan in place for cleaning at the beginning and end of each shift and in between customers. Perform thorough cleaning in high traffic areas, such as reception areas, and areas of ingress and egress including stairways, stairwells, and handrails.

• Frequently disinfect commonly used surfaces including credit card terminals, counters, reception area seating, door handles, light switches, phones, toilets, and handwashing facilities.

• Encourage the use of credit cards and contactless payment systems. If electronic or card payment is not possible, customers should come with exact cash payment or check.

• Consider upgrading to touchless faucets, soap and paper towel dispensers, and adding touchless, automatic hand sanitizer dispensers. Remove any unnecessary products that do not belong in the restroom, e.g. candles or beauty supplies, and ensure soap dispensers and paper towel dispensers are regularly filled.

• Amenities, including magazines, books, coffee, water, self-serve stations (unless touchless), and other items for customers, must be removed from reception areas to help reduce touch points and customer interactions.

• Equip reception areas and workstations with proper sanitation products, including hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.

• Thoroughly clean any product display areas, including all shelving and display cases. Remove and discard any open “test” products and discontinue this practice to help reduce contamination. Add signage to this area to let customers know it is cleaned and disinfected daily.

• Workstations must be routinely and frequently cleaned, including between each customer appointment. Thoroughly clean and disinfect the station counters, rolling carts, drawers, hand mirrors, hair care and other products, and containers and provide a new smock or cape for each customer.

• Clean and disinfect shears by removing all visible debris, clean with soap and water, and wipe or spray with an EPA-registered disinfectant that demonstrates bactericidal, fungicidal, and virucidal activity and is approved for COVID-19.

• Clean and disinfect all non-electrical tools by removing all visible debris, cleaning with soap and water, drying the tools, and then completely immersing them in an EPA registered disinfectant. Tools should be sprayed or submerged and left to set for the full amount of time required by the disinfectant’s manufacturer. Immersed items, like combs or brushes, should be removed at the end of contact time, rinsed, and dried with a paper towel or clean, freshly laundered towel.

• Clean all electrical tools, such as clippers, by removing all visible debris and disinfecting with an EPA-registered disinfectant spray or wipe that demonstrates bactericidal, fungicidal, and virucidal activity and is approved for COVID-19.

• Clean and disinfect all handles, hoses, spray nozzles, and other equipment before and after use on a customer. Chairs, headrests, shampoo bowls, and other items should also be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized between each use.

• Where appropriate, consider adding a paper cover, sheet, or clean towel that can be easily disposed of or cleaned for use between customers.

• All single use items, such as disposable wax collars, cotton, neck strips, and applicators, must be used once and immediately thrown away. Product samples, including make-up, must not be used at any time.

• All dirty linens, including towels, smocks, and reusable capes, should be placed in a closed container and not used again until properly laundered either by a commercial laundering service or a laundering process which includes immersion in water of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 25 minutes. Store all clean linens in a clean, covered place. Ensure workers who handle dirty linens or laundry wear gloves.

• Provide time for workers to implement cleaning practices during their shift. Cleaning assignments should be assigned during working hours as part of the employee’s job duties.

• When choosing cleaning chemicals, hair salon or barbershop operators should use products approved for use against COVID-19 on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved list and follow product instructions. Use disinfectants labeled to be effective against emerging viral pathogens, diluted household bleach solutions (5 tablespoons per gallon of water), or alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol that are appropriate for the surface. Provide workers training on manufacturer’s directions and Cal/OSHA requirements for safe use. Workers using cleaners or disinfectants should wear gloves and other protective equipment as required by the product instructions.

• Hair salon or barbershop workers should avoid sharing phones, tablets, laptops, desks, pens, other work supplies, wherever possible. Never share PPE.

• Discontinue the use of shared food and beverage equipment in breakrooms (including shared coffee brewers).

• Consider installing portable high-efficiency air cleaners, upgrading the building’s air filters to the highest efficiency possible, and making other modifications to increase the quantity of outside air and ventilation in all working areas.

• In addition to the above cleaning and disinfecting protocols, hair salons, barbershops, and other cosmetology businesses must follow the existing California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology rules.

Physical Distancing Guidelines

• Implement measures to ensure physical distancing of at least six feet between and among workers and customers, except when providing haircutting and other close contact services. This can include use of physical partitions or visual cues (e.g., floor markings, colored tape, or signs to indicate to where workers and/or customers should stand).

• Take measures at reception desks or other areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained to minimize exposure between workers and customers, such as Plexiglas or other barriers.

• Consider offering workers who request modified duties options that minimize their contact with customers and other workers (e.g., managing inventory or managing administrative needs through telework).

• Contact customers before visits to confirm appointments and ask if they are exhibiting any symptoms, have been sick, or whether they have been exposed to someone who has been sick. If the customer answers in the affirmative for any of those questions, reschedule the appointment at least 10 to 14 days in the future.

• Request customers to bring and use face coverings during the visit. If appropriate for the service, consider asking customers to come to the salon with their hair freshly cleaned in order to minimize time for the appointment. Customers should be asked not to bring children or others with them to the appointment.

• Stagger appointments to reduce reception congestion and ensure adequate time for proper cleaning and sanitation between each customer visit. Consider servicing fewer customers each day or expanding operating hours to allow for more time between customers. Suspend walk-in appointment availability.

• Ensure that workers do not see multiple customers at once (e.g. while one customer’s hair is drying, another receives a haircut). Services for one customer should be completely rendered before a new customer is seen by the same worker.

• If possible, implement virtual check-in technology to ensure that workers are notified when a customer arrives. Ask customers to wait outside or in their cars rather than congregating in the salon or barbershop. In larger locations, reception areas should only have one customer at a time or modify the area for adequate physical distancing, including removing chairs and sofas.

• Wherever possible, doors should be left open if they do not open and close automatically.

• Require workers to avoid handshakes, hugs, or similar greetings that break physical distance.

• Discourage workers from congregating in high traffic areas, such as bathrooms, hallways, or credit card terminals.

• Close breakrooms, use barriers, or increase distance between tables/chairs to separate workers and discourage congregating during breaks. Where possible, create outdoor break areas with shade covers and seating that ensures physical distancing.

• Adjust any staff meetings to ensure physical distancing and use smaller individual meetings at facilities to maintain physical distancing guidelines. Hold meetings over the phone or via webinar for workers wherever possible.