Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): close contact services

Published: 13 Aug 2021
Last updated: 13 Aug 2021 - see all updates

Information for people who provide close contact services such as hairdressers, barbers and beauty therapists on working safely during coronavirus.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): close contact services


This guide is for people who provide close contact retail services. This guidance is an annex to the safer businesses and workplaces guidance which should be practitioners’ primary reference.

As close contact services may, by nature, carry an increased risk of transmission, this guidance will help you understand what you need to do to keep your workplace, staff and customers safe during coronavirus.

Examples of close contact services include:

  • hairdressing and barber services
  • beauty and nail services (including make-up services)
  • hair removal services
  • tattoo, piercing and body modification services
  • fashion design, dress-fitting and tailoring services
  • indoor portrait photography and art services
  • massage therapies
  • complementary and alternative medicine services requiring physical contact or close physical proximity between persons, but not osteopathy and chiropractic services
  • spa and wellness services
  • other services or procedures which require physical contact or close physical proximity between a provider and a customer and are not ancillary to medical, health, or social care services

We have developed this guidance in consultation with the industry and trade unions and will keep it under review.

Where we are now

On 9 August all of Scotland moved to beyond Level 0 of the COVID-19 levels system, as set out in the Covid-19: Strategic Framework update.

Moving beyond Level 0 does not signal the end of the pandemic or a return to life exactly as we knew it before COVID-19. Although most legal restrictions will be lifted, and many people are now fully vaccinated, it is still possible for the virus to spread between people. Even with widespread vaccination, COVID-19 is likely to pose a threat in the future. It is important for all of us to act carefully and remain cautious. This is why we are keeping in place key measures which have helped in our efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

Although some limited legal restrictions are necessary, the emphasis will shift to personal responsibility, good practice and informed judgement. It will be important for us all to remain cautious to help protect ourselves and others.

To maintain the progress we have made towards returning to more normality, it is important for us all to continue to play our part by following the baseline measures to prevent COVID-19 resurging and to protect ourselves and each other.

First published: 13 Aug 2021 Last updated: 13 Aug 2021 -