We know that reopening your salon post-lockdown hasn’t been easy – there are so many new rules and changing guidelines, all while you try your best to keep your salon afloat.

With the launch of the new NHS Test & Trace app, there is now a bigger importance being placed on ensuring that anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 can be contacted quickly and easily.

So, what do you need to do to ensure you follow the rules? What happens if one of your staff or clients test positive?

We’ve found the answers to some of the most important questions…

From 24th September, the Test & Trace QR code was made mandatory in salons

The NHS Test & Trace app was released on 24th September. While it isn’t mandatory for everyone to download it, it is mandatory for salons in England and Wales to comply with it.

This means you must…

  • Display an official NHS QR code poster at your salon’s entrance
  • Ask your clients to ‘check-in’ to your salon by scanning it
  • If your client doesn’t have an app, you must keep a record of their name, contact details, the staff member they interacted with and the time they were in the salon for 21 days

In Wales, you should still take contact details yourself, even if your client uses the app on their phone.

If you are contacted by NHS Test & Trace, you must share any of the required information with them.

Don’t forget, you also need to keep a record of when your staff are in the salon, plus any other necessary visitors.

Create your official NHS QR code poster here.

Does this affect GDPR?

You are required to collect contact details from all visitors to your salon in the interest of public health. If you are taking new details, let your client know that their information will be passed on to NHS Test & Trace if required. You can do this with a written sign or notice, if you prefer.

If somebody refuses to give details, or won’t allow them to be shared with the NHS, try to assure them that it will only be shared when absolutely necessary. If they still don’t want to consent to their details being shared, it is advised that they shouldn’t be allowed on the premises – though this isn’t compulsory for salons.

As you are collecting personal data, you still must handle it lawfully. If you have requested it solely for Test & Trace, you can’t use it for any other purpose such as marketing. You will also be responsible for keeping it secure.

Take a look at the full government advice on maintaining records for NHS Test & Trace.

You are responsible for your staff

It is now an offence to allow, or force, an employee to work if you know they have tested positive for Covid-19.

This also applies to workers who may not have tested positive themselves, but live with somebody who has.

If you break this rule, you are at risk of being fined £1,000.

Any of your staff who have tested positive, live with someone who has or has been contacted by NHS Test & Trace must self-isolate for 14 days.

Should any of your staff begin to display any symptoms of Covid-19 at work, they should take a test as soon as possible. This means they should self-isolate until they get their results. If they test negative, they can return to work.

While waiting for a team member or client to get their test results, everyone who has been in contact with them should take extra care with hygiene and social distancing measures.

If your staff member becomes ill with Covid-19 or needs to self-isolate, they are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay for the whole period they cannot work for. You can claim back up to two weeks of sick pay you paid to your employee – find out how on the government website.

What happens if there is an ‘outbreak’ at your salon?

Don’t worry – a positive test of Covid-19 in your salon doesn’t necessarily mean you are dealing with an ‘outbreak’.

But, if you are aware of more than one confirmed case of Covid-19 in your salon, you should inform your local health protection team as soon as possible. They will help you minimise any further transmission of the virus.

If NHS Test & Trace contacts you, you will need to work with them to assess the risk of everyone who has been in your salon – how much time has passed, how long they spent with the person who has tested positive and how near they were, for example.

It may be that certain staff members or clients have to self-isolate while they take a test and their contacts are traced.

Download the Workplace Action Card to keep the right information on hand.

Make sure you are only answering genuine calls

Take care to ensure anyone who contacts you from NHS Test & Trace is genuine and is not a scam caller.

Most communication from contact tracers will be…

Some local contact tracers may use a regional phone number, but will never ask you for payment, any log-in details, medical information or for you to download anything.

If you need any supplies for your salon, shop online at Salons Direct for salon PPE, hair supplies and more.

More advice from the Salons Direct blog…

Tips for Working Comfortably With Your Salon PPE | A Guide to Using PPE in Your Salon | How to Deep Clean Your Salon