09 February 2021
Businesses who offer close contact services can reopen from tomorrow, Wednesday 10 February, with full risk assessments and safety plans completed, following the continued reduction of Covid-19 case numbers in the Island.
New public health guidance and safe opening checklist applies to the services reopening including:
• hairdressers and barbershops
• beauty and nail salons
• piercing and tattoo studios
• laser and cosmetic clinics
• makeup services
• massage and sports massage therapy
• wellbeing and holistic health
Saunas, steam rooms, spas and Jacuzzis, all indoor sports and exercise venues remain closed.
Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat said: “There are a number of mitigation measures businesses can implement to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading. People who work in close contact services are eligible and encouraged to take part in the Island’s workforce testing programme to permit the early detection of cases and therefore prevent new clusters by identifying and breaking the chain of transmission.
“While we accept that when providing services physical distancing won’t be possible, such distancing should be maintained at all other times to minimize risk, as the longer the time spent in close contact, the higher the risk.
“Contact tracing remains a fundamental part of the COVID 19 Strategy, under the COVID-19 (Workplace Restrictions) Order, businesses must collect contact information of all people aged over 12 who visit their premises to facilitate tracing should this be necessary.
“Other mitigations such reducing access to touch surfaces and objects, increased hygiene and cleaning activities, wearing masks and other PPE and the arrangement of seating and screens to facilitate distancing will further reduce risk.”
Stakeholder engagement with close contact service industry took place before finalising the new guidelines which have been developed based on ongoing learning around transmission risks across sectors. More than 60 businesses engaged with the development of this policy to ensure their feedback was heard. As a result, some changes and additions have been included in the latest version of the guidelines including advice on masks and face shields
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf said: “I’d like to thank the businesses who engaged with our plans and continue to work hard to support reopening to ensure all measures keep the public and staff as safe as possible.
“As we continue to reconnect the Island and ease restrictions, Islanders should continue strict adherence to the ongoing current public health measures including keeping physical distance, and not household mixing.
“It is alongside these public health measures that it has been assessed as safe to reopen retail and close contact services. Relaxation in one area does not mean Islanders can automatically relax another. Without personal adherence at all levels, COVID-19 cases could rise again, potentially affecting progress of the reconnection process. We can help each other regain our sense of normality by being strict with ourselves to allow continued safe access to services.”
All information and advice for businesses, including advice from the Information Commissioner on contact tracing information, and new guidance on keeping staff safe can be found online.