CONCERNS have been raised that some barbers and hairdressers are not following Covid safety rules.

Staff in close contact with customers for an extended period of time must wear a visor and a face mask to provide a barrier from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or speaking.

And gloves can be worn to avoid skin to skin contact.

Receptionists may not have to wear a visor and a face mask if they are not in close proximity to customers and where other social distancing measures are in place such as a plastic screen or barrier to separate people.

Wiltshire Council has been contacted by some customers who fear their local hairdresser or barber are not operating safely.

Council leader Philip Whitehead said: “Hairdressers and barbers are an integral part of our local communities. They provide a valued service, even more so when customers rushed to have their lockdown hair taken care of as lockdown restrictions eased.

“These local businesses have done an amazing job putting in safety measures to keep their staff, customers and visitors safe. Many of these measures will depend on the size of the business premises and the number of customers they can have inside at any one time.

“We know some customers are concerned that their local hairdressers and barbers don’t appear to be taking appropriate action, particularly around PPE. We are working with local businesses to address any concerns, if needed. We hope this guidance will reassure customers and businesses that they are operating within the government guidelines and hair appointments can be carried out safely.”

On arrival for a hair appointment, customers may be asked to wait outside until the hairdresser/barber is confident there is reasonable space to follow social distancing guidelines within the premises.

Social distancing must be maintained where possible including between client chairs.

Disposable items such as gowns should be used otherwise separate gowns and towels will be used for each customer and will be washed between use. Hairdressers and barbers should work from behind the customer or from the side and the time involved for each activity should be kept as short as possible.

Customers must wear a face covering and can untie the straps or remove the ear loops from the ears during washing, cutting and some treatments.

Where possible the face covering should continue to cover the customer’s nose and mouth.

All staff and customers are encouraged to frequently wash their hands or use hand sanitisers.

Businesses are also encouraged to keep a temporary record of their clients and visitors for 21 days to help support the NHS Test and Trace programme.