Additional COVID-19 Guidance For Personal Care Services
Speak with your area Public Health Inspector if you have any questions, or call our helpline at 519-258-2146 ext. 4475.
*This information is subject to change and is current as of April 8, 2021
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The following guidance is intended to help with clarification of general public health measures as mandated in Ontario Regulation 263/20 Rules for Areas in Stage 2 and described in the COVID-19 Response Framework for personal care settings.
Personal Care Settings or Personal Service Settings include hair, barber, manicure and pedicure salons, esthetic clinics, tattoo parlours, and premises that provide ear, body piercing, electrolysis, micro-blading, and/or micro-pigmentation. Each personal service setting is unique and not all recommendations may apply. For more general information on personal service settings, refer to your profession-specific guidance or visit WECHU’s Personal Service Settings webpage.
To support safe operations in personal service settings, operators must also abide by:
- Sector-specific guidelines and other regulations such as Ontario Regulation 136/18 Personal Service Settings and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Visit WECHU’s Local Pandemic Status page for updates on Windsor-Essex’s status level, links to Ministry of Ontario guidance, and a summary of current provincial requirements and local enhanced measures.
COVID-19 Response Framework Measures
- Oxygen bars, steam rooms, saunas, bath houses, other adult venues, hot tubs, floating pools and sensory deprivation pods closed (some exceptions)
- Personal care services relating to the hair or body, including hair salons and barbershops, manicure and pedicure salons, aesthetician services, piercing services, tanning salons, spas and tattoo studios, may open if they comply with the following conditions:
- Services requiring removal of face coverings prohibited
- Persons who provide personal care services in the business must wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
- Change rooms, locker rooms and showers closed
- Require active screening of patrons (for example, questionnaire)
- Require contact information from all patrons
- Safety plan available upon request
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit – Specific Enhanced Measures
- Locker rooms, change rooms, and showers must be closed, except a washroom or a portion of business that is used to provide first aid.
Managing & Reporting COVID-19 Outbreaks in the Workplace
The Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace: Guidance for Employers, Owners, and Operators provides guidance for businesses and workplaces to appropriately manage employees who have either tested positive for COVID-19, been identified as a close contact of a confirmed positive case of COVID-19, or experiencing symptoms without any known exposure to COVID-19.
Reporting Workplace Outbreaks
The ‘Reporting Workplace Outbreaks to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit: Guidance for Employers, Business Owners, & Operators’ provides information for employers to understand their roles in a suspected workplace outbreak, their responsibility to notify the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) about COVID-19 cases in the workplace, and how workplace outbreak information will be disclosed to the public.
Return to Work Timelines
The COVID-19 Decision Guide for Workplaces provides details on return to work guidelines for employees based on their level of exposure to COVID-19 (i.e., high or low risk contact), the results of their COVID-19 test, and the severity of symptoms from COVID-19. For additional information, you may also review the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 self-isolation and return to work webpage.
COVID-19 Safety Plan
When public health unit regions return to the framework, all businesses must have safety plans, no matter their colour-coded zone. Visit the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan Requirements webpage for details and templates for download.
Non-Medical Face Masks, Face Coverings, and Eye Protection
Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open mandates the wearing of face coverings in indoor public places and workplaces. Municipalities and organizations have created further regulations through the development of face-covering policies. Several local municipalities have included further spaces where masks are required by passing by-laws.
- Non-medical masks or face coverings should also be worn in other situations (for example, outdoors) when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- In addition to wearing a non-medical face mask or face covering, staff must wear eye protection when they are within 2 metres of patrons who are not wearing a non-medical mask or face covering. Review our fact sheet on approved eye protection for staff.
- Train staff on the proper use, removal and disposal of non-medical masks.
- Face Coverings and Face Masks (Government of Ontario)
- WECHU How to Safely Wear a Mask (multiple languages)
- How to Safely Use a Non-Medical Mask or Face Covering (Public Health Agency of Canada)
- Non-medical masks do not replace other important public health measures, such as physical distancing, proper hand hygiene, coughing and sneezing into a tissue or sleeve and staying home when feeling ill.
Signage and Screening
Every patron/customer/staff member that enters the facility/workplace must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors. There are two different types of screening:
- Passive screening: people assess their own risk factors and make the decision themselves. Post clear signage at all entrances with screening questions and instructions. If active screening of patrons entering a facility is not possible (for example, public transit, grocery stores), post signage instructing people with symptoms not to enter. Note: for retail stores, screening is only required at entrance to shopping malls, and not individual stores.
- Active screening: an employer ensures that the information is collected and reviewed to determine whether a person may enter the workplace. Actively screen staff using the COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces. This includes workers, volunteers, suppliers, and contractors.
- Post signage at entrances and throughout the building that clearly communicate procedures for physical distancing between staff and users/visitors. This include posters and floor markings such as instructional tape/stickers that direct the flow of people waiting for services, including any outdoor waiting areas. Examples of signage can be found in the Resources & Signage section of the WECHU website.
- Collect contact information from all patrons who enter the facility (name, contact information, dates and times). These records must comply with privacy requirements and could support case and contact tracing by the local public health unit in the event of an outbreak.
- Post signage to communicate entry procedures such as hand sanitizing, sneeze and cough etiquette, wearing of cloth masks, and/or screening for symptoms.
- Ensure employees are aware of common COVID-19 symptoms and in addition to active screening upon arrival, instruct them to complete a daily provincial screening tool for workplaces before reporting to work.
- Provide training to employees on effective hand hygiene practices and if required, the proper way to put on and remove PPE such as masks, face shields, gowns, and gloves.
Complete any needed modifications in areas where there will be staff and/or customers, to assist with physical distancing and proper cleaning and disinfection. For example:
- Install Plexiglas barriers at check-outs and/or between workers who must work in close
proximity to each other.
- Providing additional garbage bins for safe disposal of used masks and gloves, tissues, and paper towels.
- Where the reception area is small and a physical distance of 2 metres cannot be
maintained between clients, eliminate the reception and waiting area. Clients should be
encouraged to wait in vehicles or outside until it is time for their appointment. Ask the
clients to call to see if it is safe to enter the building before entering for their appointment.
- Ensure workstations in use are separated by at least 2 metres.
- Consider moving shelves, furniture, or tables inside the salon to create space between staff and clients.
- Remove magazines and multi-use materials from waiting areas.
- Avoid distributing snacks, beverages, or testers of product samples to customers or clients.
General Cleaning and Disinfecting
- Ensure hand washing facilities are available and in good working order.
- Ensure there is always sufficient supply of approved disinfecting solution or wipes, and an alcohol-based hand rub (hand sanitizer) with a minimum of 60% alcohol content, liquid hand soap, and paper towels. These should be easily accessible to employees.
- Schedule at least 15 minutes between clients to allow for cleaning and disinfection of workstations.
- Where possible, switch to single-use items such as disposable capes, aprons and towels. If not possible, provide each client with clean items. Be sure to disinfect or launder re-usable items between clients. Items designed as single-use only MUST be discarded in a lined garbage bin after each use.
- Ensure disposable covers are discarded immediately after use and that chairs, headrests, armrests, squeeze bottles, are cleaned and disinfected between clients.
- Dirty towels and linens must be placed in a lined bin, washed in a washing machine with
detergent and hot water, and dried in a dryer to kill as much virus as possible. Laundry
baskets and re-usable bags should be sanitized each time and should not be used to store clean towels and capes.
- Clients should avoid touching multi-use supplies, such as nail polish, when selecting
- Ensure proper cleaning and disinfection of reusable tools. Clean low-risk tools by brushing them vigorously with soap and warm water, disinfect with a low-level disinfectant and allow to air dry. Follow proper cleaning and disinfection procedures for tools depending on their level of risk. Ensure you have at least two sets of tools and brushes so you can alternate tool sets in between cleaning and disinfecting.
- Government of Ontario
- Workplace Safety & Prevention Services