HAIRDRESSERS are being urged to abide by a government requirement for staff to wear masks to protect clients from Covid-19.
There is concern that some salon owners are choosing to equip workers with visors, which only offer protection to the wearer and contravene Scottish Government guidelines.
Scotland has stricter PPE rules in place than England for close contact retail businesses including hairdressing.
According to the British Hair and Beauty Federation (BHBF), face coverings are mandatory for both clients and staff north of the border, while the use of a visor is recommended.
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In England, according to the BHBF, hairdressers must wear a visor, but it is up to the salon whether staff and clients wear a face covering.
However, anecdotal evidence suggests not all hairdressers are following the rules in Scotland.
One Glasgow woman said: “I passed two West End establishments first thing this morning, both just using visors. One woman was standing above her customer with an enormous gap under the shield, so it was doing
In response, a spokeswoman for the Scottish Government reiterated that face coverings are mandatory for “close-contact” retail industries including hairdressing.
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Lisa Heidinger, a virologist from Glasgow, believes the guidance needs to be clearer for specific businesses with regard to PPE requirements.
She said: “A mask protects others from your droplets. A visor protects your whole face from droplets but offers no protection for others.
“They should be in full PPE. Mask (not just cloth – disposable), visor, apron, gloves.
“Everything but the visor disposed of between clients and the visor cleaned with appropriate anti-viral wipes (not just anti-bacterials).
“The Scottish Government is doing great at the moment but there are a lot of grey areas especially with who needs what PPE and when.
“It needs to be stricter and leave less to choice. That is, if they want to defeat the virus.”
The advice for close-contact retail services states: “Staff should wear a visor in addition to a face covering. Visors are recommended but face masks are mandatory. Customers are also required to wear a face covering.”