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Guidance for Personal Care Services

Cayman Islands Government
Published: November 18 2021
Last Updated: November 27, 2021

This document provides guidance for the safe delivery of personal care services such as:

  • Barbers;
  • Hairdressers;
  • Beauticians;
  • Nail artists;
  • Spa operators;
  • Makeup artists;
  • Tattoo artists;
  • Massage therapists; and
  • similar services. 

This information is based on currently available scientific evidence and expert opinion and is subject to change as new information becomes available. It should be read in conjunction with relevant national legislation, regulations, and policies. This document has been adapted for the Caribbean situation, and therefore may differ from guidance developed by other agencies.

This guidance serves as a minimum standard that should be adhered to by the relevant parties.  At all times individuals are to adhere to the current Covid-19 Regulations and the National Policy on the Use of Antigen-Detecting Rapid Diagnostic Tests (“Lateral Flow Tests”).

This guidance covers: 

You can also download the full guidance including an example of the COVID-19 Screening Form and an Operational Checklist for Personal Care Services below:  

Download Guidance



What are the potential COVID-19 risks for delivering Personal Care Services?

Personal care services such as those listed above and similar services provide valuable grooming and self-care goods and experiences that enrich the quality of life for their clients. The resumption of operations of these services during the COVID -19 pandemic must be done carefully and with stringent health and safety protocols in place.

There are two key major risks: Firstly, these services have a high risk of close contact with and require almost constant physical contact between staff and clients. Secondly, in the Caribbean setting, the spaces where these services are provided may be limited in space or small in size.


How can these risks be reduced?

The following sections provide suggested measures that managers, staff, and clients of personal care services can follow to minimise the spread of COVID-19. It applies to all personal care service regardless of the mode of delivery, including services delivered from fixed or mobile places of business, in providers’ or clients’ homes, in retail environments as well as services provided in vocational and other training environments.


Assessing Risk

Employers have a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to protect staff, including contractors and delivery personnel, clients, and others from the COVID-19 disease. It is recommended that a risk assessment is conducted to identify risks and to determine the necessary and appropriate health and safety measures to manage those risks. The risk assessment should include as a minimum, the following actions:

  • identify what situations could cause injury or illness in your business (hazards)
  • decide how likely it is that someone could be harmed and how seriously (the risk)
  • take action to eliminate the hazard, or if this is not possible, control the risk
  • develop and maintain a risk register to monitor risks and update risk mitigation/ control strategies.

For personal care services, the risks associated with individual services or treatments must be assessed to determine if partial or full packages will be offered to clients or suspended until they can be safely delivered.



Measures to be Implemented by Management

Facilities/Workspace Measures


  • Increase ventilation by opening doors and windows where possible or increase ventilation rates of air conditioning systems.
  • Utilise high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter air filtration and heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) systems as a good universal precaution to ensure air changes are occurring throughout the studio, where possible.
  • The following are recommended for body piercing and tattoo studios:
    • Waiting areas: Minimum 6 total air changes per hour with air movement inwards in relationship to adjacent areas
    • Procedure room: Minimum 6 total air changes per hour with air movement outwards in relationship to adjacent areas.
    • Processing and decontamination room: Minimum 6 total air changes per hour with air movement inwards in relationship to adjacent areas.
    • When deciding on a filter to purchase, look at the MERV rating, the higher the rating, the more efficient the filter is considered 
    • HVAC filters should be changed about every 90 days or when they start to clog
    • Filters should be changed while wearing appropriate PPE
  • Arrange chairs/ workstations to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet (2 metres) between persons in the facility.
  • Use physical barriers between workstations as additional protection and separation. Possible barriers could be:
    • Installation of plastic/glass/plexiglass shields
    • Closed doors and walls
    • Where physical barriers are not feasible, place workstations at least 6 feet apart
  • Where facilities have been closed for a prolonged time, consider the following:
    • Performing biological spore testing and any manufacturer suggested maintenance on all autoclaves upon reopening.
    • Most autoclave manufacturers recommend running the unit for 3 full cycles after it has not been in use for over 48 hours.
    • Ensuring your water heater is properly maintained and the temperature is correctly set.
    • Flushing hot and cold water through all points of use (e.g., showers, sink faucets).


Administrative Measures 

  • Post signage at the entrance and around the shop for staff and clients to:
    • Inform of COVID-19 protocols including requirement for wearing of masks
    • Promote personal hygiene and awareness of good hand hygiene techniques
    • Provide reminders of social distancing. Use visual markers to assist staff and clients to maintain a minimum distance of 6 ft where appropriate
  • Require all clients to visit by appointment only which will limit the number of persons in the space. Where walk-ins are allowed, the numbers of persons present in the facility should be limited, as determined by the national regulations in place.
  • Stagger appointments to allow time for cleaning and disinfection of workstations and equipment between clients.
  • In addition, stagger staff work schedules where possible, scheduling breaks and lunchtimes to reduce gatherings of staff.
  • Considering special arrangements for vulnerable population groups, such as dedicated times to provide services for these groups
  • Consider performing temperature checks for staff and clients on entering the shop.
  • Keep a log of ALL persons that enter the service area. The log should include the person’s name, working phone number, and the time they entered and left. This information may be valuable for health authorities in the event they need to contact any clients or staff exposed to COVID-19 at your facility.
  • If possible, utilise credit cards or contactless payments or protect staff by placing a plexiglass partition between the person accepting the cash and the client. Otherwise, staff should wear the appropriate PPE, such as face covering and gloves.
  • Remove non-essential amenities during this time such as magazines from waiting rooms to discourage unnecessary touching of surface by clients.
  • Food/beverages should not be supplied to client, unless in extraordinary circumstances (e.g. a client who feels faint). Clients should be discouraged from bringing food or beverages from outside unless required for a medical condition or a lengthy service time is expected.
  • In facilities that provide jewellery and similar items for sale to clients as part of their services:
    • Avoid clients handling jewellery bare handed.
    • Clients should wear gloves to handle jewellery. Clients should perform hand hygiene before putting on gloves and after removal. If jewellery is handled by a client, immediate disinfection of that jewellery/other items should be performed.



Hygiene and Social Distancing Measures While Working

  • Staff and clients should perform hand hygiene before starting the service.
  • Staff and clients must wear masks for the duration of the appointment. Clients should only be allowed to remove their mask if receiving a service on an area that would be covered by the ask, or where the continuous wearing of the mask may pose a risk to the wearer.
  • Make every effort to maintain at least 6-feet distance apart unless a procedure is taking place.
  • Employers should inform staff to refuse entrance and service to a client who refuses to follow COVID-19 protocols.
  • Upon arrival, clients should be informed to remain in their car or outside until receiving notification to enter, for example by phone call or text message.
  • Keep the activity time involved for a personal service as short as possible.
  • Limit face to face interaction where possible e.g. hairdressers can stand behind the client as much as possible when working on their hair.
  • Clients should leave immediately after completion and payment for the service.
  • Use single use items and supplies where possible (e.g. dipping powder for nails).
  • Staff must not share reusable equipment (e.g. scissors, massage implements, etc.) while working. 
  • Clients should not be allowed to touch any service equipment.



Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Staff must receive training on when to use PPE; what PPE is necessary for each task; how to properly put on, use, and take off PPE in a manner to prevent self-contamination; how to properly dispose of or disinfect and maintain PPE; and the limitations of PPE.
  • Staff should wear additional PPE such as gloves and gowns depending on the service to be provided.
  • Employers should ensure they provide PPE (masks, gloves, face shields/eye googles) to staff and maintain an appropriate stock of PPE.
  • The use of face shields and disposable gowns/covers should also be considered when the service to be performed requires face to face interaction with clients. This is due to the high risk of exposure to suspected cases of disease as social distancing is not possible.
  • The following may be used as a guide to determine the PPE needed for different settings:
    • Services with negligent or no risk of exposure to blood or body fluids (e.g. hairdressing, eyebrow arching etc)
      • Wear a face mask, and a face shield if available
    • Service with limited exposure to blood or body fluids (e.g. nail art, manicure, pedicure, waxing etc)
      • Wear a minimum of N95 respirator, face shield, and disposable gloves
    • Services with a high risk of exposure to blood or body fluids (e.g. tattooing and body piercing and any invasive procedures)
      • Wear a minimum of N95 or higher respirator, face shield or goggles, protective clothing, and disposable gloves
  • Reusable eye protection must be cleaned and disinfected according to the manufacturer’s reprocessing instructions prior to re-use and between clients. Disposable eye protection should be discarded after use.
  • Disposable gloves should be used and changed between clients. Change gloves if they become soiled, torn, or contaminated. Remove and discard gloves on completion of service, and immediately perform hand washing.
  • Hands must be washed immediately after removing PPE.
  • Employers must provide and maintain an appropriate supply of soap, paper towels and hand sanitiser (containing between 60-80% ethanol or isopropanol or a combination of both) for use by staff and clients at designated points at the entrance and within the business.



Daily Cleaning and Disinfection Procedures


  • All non-disposable equipment should be cleaned and disinfected according to the manufacturer’s instructions before use on another individual.
  • Equipment and tools that require heat sterilisation must be sterilised following manufacturer recommendations or best practice standards.
  • Clean and disinfect chairs in between clients and during the day, disinfect frequently touched items (e.g. bottles, beauty tools and equipment, door handles, faucets, and bathrooms). Choose disposable capes/ aprons/ gowns and where this is not possible, put on a clean pair between each client or disinfect. Wash reusable capes/aprons before reusing.
  • Perform a thorough cleaning of the shop and equipment at the end of the workday with water and detergent and apply commonly used disinfectants (such as bleach).
  • Used linen, cloths, laundry, and any other item that came in contact with a client’s body should be collected and disinfected in such a way as to avoid any contact with persons or contamination of the environment.
  • Surfaces or objects contaminated with blood, other body fluids, secretions or excretions should be cleaned and disinfected as soon as possible afterwards, using standard detergents/disinfectants.
  • Manage laundry, service equipment and tools, and waste in accordance with safe routine procedures.
    • Double bag or otherwise contain contaminated textiles and fabrics at the point of use
    • Handle contaminated textiles and fabrics with minimum agitation to avoid contamination of air, surfaces, and persons
    • Use leak-resistant containment for textiles and fabrics contaminated with blood or body substances
    • Identify bags or containers for contaminated textiles with labels, colour coding, or other alternative means of communication as appropriate
    • If hot-water laundry cycles are used, wash with detergent in water >160ºF (>71º C) for >25 minutes.



Waste Management

For potentially infectious/contaminated waste generated during service provision:

  • Discard disposable products like face masks, face shields, and gloves by wrapping them in tissue before placing them in a bin
  • Safely handle waste by using the necessary protective gear (gloves, masks)
  • Secure possible infectious waste by packaging in double bags then tying properly
  • Treat all waste contaminated with blood, body fluids or excretions as hazardous and potentially infectious.
  • Potentially infectious waste should be bagged, stored, and disposed of separately from normal garbage (packaging paper, food waste etc).
  • Potentially infectious waste should be collected by specialist waste management operators and not the regular collection operators, where services are available
  • If municipal collection of waste is not available, the following should be considered:
    • Contact local healthcare facility once the system is in place for proper disposal of infectious waste, Or
    • Drop off packaged waste at central collection point.


Staff Health and Safety 

The risk of occupational exposure to the COVID-19 virus during this pandemic may vary from very high to high, medium, or lower (caution) risk. The level of risk depends in part on the industry type, need for contact between service staff, and with clients or others they interact with from time to time. Assess the risk to staff based on the roles they perform and identify how these risks can be managed or mitigated.

Ensure that staff health and safety policies are followed. If these policies are outdated or do not exist, this is a good opportunity to ensure they are developed or updated to reflect any policy and protocol changes with respect to COVID-19. This should include procedures for:

  • Management of ill staff
  • Processing of leave (sick leave, carer leave, etc).
  • Working from home safely
  • Reporting of illness
  • Incident reporting
  • Crisis Management 


Screening and Hygiene

  • Staff should remain at home if they have COVID-19 like symptoms such as fever or cough, and report illness to their supervisor. Screen staff before each shift. 
  • Staff must practice respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoid sharing of tools and equipment if possible. If this is unavoidable, disinfect properly after each use.
  • Staff must perform hand hygiene on arrival to work, before and after working with clients.
  • Staff must not be allowed to bring guests.


To download the example screening form, click here. 


Communication and Training 

The risk assessment and the identified health and safety protocol/plan must be shared with staff.

The following information should be communicated:

  • Physical distancing protocol
  • Reporting/handling of illness for themselves or a client
  • Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting protocols
  • handling and disposal of potentially contaminated waste


Client Health and Safety

The COVID-19 health and safety protocols must be communicated to clients either verbally or through various media including social media.


Screening and Hygiene

  • Use an abundance of caution for aerosol-generating procedures (such as activities involving the mouth and nose) and exercise discretion to stop or reduce non-essential nasal and oral procedures. Appropriate precautions must be taken include wearing a face covering suited for aerosol-generating procedures.
  • Clients must wear masks before entering and while in the shop. Clients should be advised to wait outside the shop until their appointment. Walk-ins should be asked to wait outside while an appointment is made.
  • Assess all individual clients for potential risks of performing individual procedures based on the data available, communicate these risks and ascertain their general understanding of the procedure and associated risks.
  • On entering the shop, clients should either wash their hands or use a hand sanitiser containing between 60-80% alcohol (ethanol or isopropanol or a combination of both). 
  • Clients should remain at home if they have COVID-19 like symptoms such as fever or cough.
    • Instruct clients when making their appointment that they must inform the service provider if they become ill for cancellation or reschedule of appointments.
  • Screen clients before they enter for their service or when making the appointment.
  • Clients should not be allowed to bring guests unless this is unavoidable (e.g. a parent or caregiver accompanying a child, or a client’s spouse). All measures applicable to clients would be applicable to guests.



What if Staff or a Client Become Ill?

Not every person that sneezes, coughs, or is ill with flu-like symptoms has the COVID-19 disease.

There are many other reasons for having these symptoms. Firstly, remain calm. If you become aware of a client or person who visited your store who is suspected or confirmed with the COVID-19 disease, there are several actions and precautions you can take to protect staff and clients:


General Actions 

  • Refuse to provide service to any client who arrives with symptoms.
  • Plan to deal with a staff member who receives a positive COVID-19 test during or shortly after their work shift.
  • Staff or clients who develop or show COVID-19 symptoms should be advised to seek immediate medical attention. Follow national protocols for reporting suspect COVID-19 cases. Call ahead to the health facility to find out if they can receive potential COVID-19 patients or if they are referring these patients to another facility.
  • Follow the directives and cooperate with Public Health during their investigation.
  • Conduct an internal assessment to determine the number of possible close contacts among your staff and clients and work with Public Health to assist with identifying any workplace or client contacts to minimise further risk of spread.
  • Require all staff who are possible close contacts to comply with Public Health protocols with respect to quarantine and isolation.
  • Staff who have not had close contact with the original confirmed case should continue taking the usual precautions and attend work as usual unless otherwise instructed by health authorities.
  • Staff who believe they have been exposed to someone unwell with symptoms consistent with coronavirus infection should seek advice from a medical practitioner or their local health authorities.


Cleaning and Sanitization Post-exposure

  • All surfaces and items should be cleaned and sanitized, paying close attention to those that the infected person touched, including those visibly contaminated with body fluids/respiratory secretions, and all high-contact areas such as toilets, door handles, and telephones. It is important to ensure that environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures are followed consistently and correctly.
  • Use water, detergent, and commonly used disinfectants as per the local guidance provided by the Department of Environmental Health.
  • Staff should wear appropriate PPE including gloves, eye protection (goggles, face shield), a face mask, and a protective gown during the cleaning process or when in the same room with the sick person.
  • Equipment, laundry, food service utensils and waste should be managed in accordance with safe routine procedures.
  • Any item potentially touched or handled by the ill person should be collected separately and disinfected in such a way as to avoid any contact with persons or contamination of the environment.
  • Surfaces/objects contaminated with blood, other body fluids, secretions or excretions should be cleaned and disinfected as soon as possible using standard detergents/disinfectants. Handle laundry, food service utensils, and waste as detailed in Daily Cleaning and Disinfection protocols.
  • Perform proper hand washing hygiene on completion.

Tags: Industry Guidance