Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): close contact services

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19): close contact services


We are aware that training and education play an important role in equipping close contact practitioners with the skills and qualifications they need to work.

We also acknowledge that training scenarios can take place in a variety of settings including workplaces, further/higher education institutions, or other premises. As such it is important to ensure providers and students have the necessary information to resume training in each setting with confidence.

Ultimately, the wide variety of training settings and formats means that when and where it can go ahead depends on the current COVID-19 protection level in your area, as well as two key factors:

  • what type of training/education is being carried out
  • where the training/education is being carried out

What type of training/education is being carried out

Practical training - If the training involves performing a close contact treatment on a live recipient – for example a model or peer – even for the purposes of instruction, it is considered to be a close contact service in itself. As a result, it can only go ahead if close contact services generally are permitted in the current COVID-19 protection level, even if the setting you are using is open. Close contact services are permitted in levels 0-3 and will resume on 26 April 2021

Theoretical training - Including class instruction, coursework, treatments on mannequins/busts, etc. with no practical elements on live models like those described above, may proceed whenever the setting where it is taking place is permitted to open.

Where the training/education is being carried out

Salons/barbershops/hairdressers/studios/other close contact premises - premises which provide a close contact service are required to close in any level 4 area and should not be used even to provide training. In levels 0-3, providers should refer to the close contact services guidance.

Colleges and universities - Institutions should refer to the college and university sectoral guidance, which sets out the requirements and considerations for delivery of education and training in formal and non-formal training environments

Other business premises - Providers should refer to the list of businesses which are permitted to open. (under the sub-heading The Shopping Experience).

Hotels or other privately hired spaces - If delivery is planned in a hotel or other privately hired space the relevant sector guidance set out in the  Coronavirus (COVID-19): Tourism and Hospitality Sector Guidance should be considered.

Risk assessments should be carried out in advance of any delivery, in respect of both the venue and delivery or training itself, with all action taken to ensure safe delivery of the training. In addition The Health and Safety Executive’s short guide on working safely during the coronavirus outbreak should be factored into any decision on delivery. Whatever the format and setting of each training scenario, participants should observe the relevant guidance on face coverings, physical distancing, and hygiene to mitigate the risk of infection.

Whether or not training/education can go ahead will depend on what local level is currently in force, what type of training/education is being carried out, and the setting being used.

Level 4

Practical applications of close contact treatments, even for training/education purposes, are considered to be close contact services and are not permitted; theoretical training only, and only on premises which are permitted to open in level 4.

Levels 0-3

Close contact services are permitted, so practical and theoretical training can proceed as long as the premises is permitted to open in the current protection level and relevant mitigations are in place.