This guidance is to support owners/operators of personal services settings to protect everyone from COVID-19. Personal service settings (PSS) include hairstyling and barbering, tattooing, micropigmentation, ear and body piercing, electrolysis, nail salons, and aesthetic services. For information on reopening businesses and workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the 4-Step Public Health Planning Guide.
All personal service settings must comply with the provincial Reopening Ontario Act, the PSS Regulation, and Toronto Public Health guidance. Revised or updated guidance may be issued at any time. Please check our website periodically for updates.
Mandatory Mask or Face Covering Bylaw
Effective July 7, 2020, the use of non-medical masks or face coverings is required in all indoor public spaces, as per a new City of Toronto bylaw. Operators are required to develop a policy and protocols on the wearing of masks. Refer to the guidance on mask and face covering bylaw for a sample policy that your organization can adapt. Train staff on the new policy, including who is exempt, and how to safely wear a cloth mask or face covering. More information is available here.
Respiratory transmission: COVID-19 is an illness that is spread mainly from person-to-person through close contact from respiratory droplets of someone with COVID-19. The respiratory droplets can travel up to two metres/six feet when we cough, sneeze or talk.
Contaminated surfaces: It is possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes. This new coronavirus can survive on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to 72 hours.
Protective Measures to Keep Everyone Safe
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Keep a two metre/six feet distance from others, when possible.
- Wash your hands often, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Wear a face mask or covering when you are in an indoor public setting.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Promote Healthy Behaviours
Practice Physical Distancing
- Walk through the premises to identify areas that may need adjustments to reduce the spread of COVID-19, based on public health requirements.
- Limit the number of clients allowed on the premises for ease of movement to ensure two metres/six feet of distance from others.
- Inform clients about the changes you have made to protect them against COVID-19, including by posting signs, updating information to your website or voice mail, etc.
- Limit entrances to control staff and clients entering the premises at any given time.
- Limit client appointments to allow adequate space to maintain physical distancing.
- Do not allow clients to bring guests to the appointment, including children.
- Post physical distancing signs at all entrances, by cashiers or service counters.
- Provide visible cues such as tape, stickers or safety cones every two metres/six feet for clients lining up when waiting outside.
- Place markers or circles indoors so the clients know where to stand when interacting with staff.
- Remove non-essential furniture to allow ease of movement for physical distancing.
- Install plexiglass/barriers if possible, where there will be close contact between staff and clients; for example, between workstations and at the checkout. Note: this does not reduce the requirement for staff to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) (i.e. medical/surgical mask and eye protection, such as goggles or face shields), and for clients to wear masks/coverings.
- Do not host clients in a waiting area. Ask clients to wait outside until instructed to enter.
- Walk-in clients must also call from outside the premises and wait until instructed to enter.
- Staff should remind clients to stay two metres/six feet apart, as much as possible.
- Discourage staff from gathering together in lunchroom/common areas.
- Use tap features at checkout instead of cash, where possible.
Promote proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
- Provide hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) in a dispenser for staff and clients to use.
- Encourage clients to use hand sanitizer when they enter the premise.
- Continue to top up the supply of soap and paper towels throughout the day.
- Post Hand Washing, Cover your Cough and Hand Sanitizing signs in highly visible locations.
- Educate staff on hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette:
- Wash hands frequently with liquid soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Clean hands before and after the handling of PPE and after each interaction.
- Cover cough or sneeze with the elbow or a tissue. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash hands.
Facilitate clients’ proper use of masks or face coverings
- All clients must wear a non-medical mask or face covering when indoors and/or receiving service except while receiving services on an area of the face that would be covered by a non-medical mask or face covering.
- If possible, provide disposable masks for clients who have not brought their own.
- Not all clients are able to tolerate a mask and may be exempted from the bylaw. Masks or face coverings should not be used by children under the age of two, and anyone who has trouble breathing.
- Businesses are not required (or permitted) to ask for proof of an exemption.
- Consider alternative ways to provide services to clients who are unable to wear a mask. For example, providing service at the end of the day, without other clients present, or the use of barriers (e.g. plexiglass), and maintain physical distance when possible.
Train staff on proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and masks or face coverings
- Educate staff on the proper use of non-medical masks or face coverings. All staff must wear a non-medical mask or face covering unless they are in an enclosed area that is not accessible to members of the public, as per the City bylaw. Staff may remove their mask in an area not accessible by the public (e.g. lunch room/private office).
- Staff must use PPE when providing personal services to a client who is exempted from wearing a mask, and when providing services to the face when the client is temporarily not wearing a mask.
- Wearing PPE will protect staff from the respiratory droplets of others who are not masked. A non-medical mask or face covering is insufficient, and is not an appropriate form of PPE.
- A face shield is not a substitute for a mask or face covering.
- Staff should receive training on proper use of PPE and the importance of other infection prevention and control measures (e.g. hand hygiene and enhanced cleaning and disinfection).
- Staff must change their gloves when changing tasks and after every client, or more often, as necessary. Use of disposable gloves is not a substitute for proper hand hygiene.
- When gloves are removed, new gloves must be used each time.
- Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol concentration) before putting on and after taking off gloves.
- When eye protection, such as goggles or face shields are used, they should be labelled to the assigned staff and disinfected between uses.
- Staff should not share non-medical masks or face coverings or PPE.
- Change masks when moist or dirty.
Maintain a Healthy Environment
Staff Health Screening and Attendance
- Inform staff about the changes being made to protect them against COVID-19 by posting signage, updating information to the website or voice mail, etc.
- Ensure all staff complete a health screening questionnaire before each shift. The questions can be completed on paper, online, or you can ask your staff directly.
- Stagger or adjust working hours and shifts to reduce the number of staff on your premises at any one time.
- Have a flexible sick policy so staff do not come to work ill.
- Remind staff about the importance of reporting illness to their supervisor/manager.
- If staff become sick with COVID-19 symptoms, while at work, they should go home right away and self-isolate. Instruct staff to call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, their health care provider or an Assessment Centre to get tested.
- In general, staff can return to work 14 days after their symptoms began if they had COVID-19.
- There are no clearance tests required for staff to return to work.
- For other illnesses, or if a staff has tested negative for COVID-19, they should not attend work until they are symptom-free for at least 24 hours.
Client health screening
- People with symptoms of COVID-19 should not be allowed into the premises.
- Screen clients over the phone prior to booking an appointment.
- Place self-screening posters at the entrance to ensure clients do not enter if they have COVID-19 symptoms. Ensure that clients are screened when they come for their scheduled appointments.
- Offer to reschedule appointments for clients, when they are sick.
Maintain attendance records
- Maintain attendance records of all staff and clients to support public health contact tracing efforts (i.e. name, date, time, email address or phone number) for 30 days.
- If a staff member or client contracts COVID-19 and was contagious onsite, Toronto Public Health will investigate and notify individuals who may have been exposed to the virus.
- Operators must make reasonable security arrangements to protect the personal information collected.
- Personal information that is collected for COVID-19 contact tracing can only be used for this purpose.
Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection
- Cleaning, disinfecting or sterilization of items should continue as indicated in the Personal Services Setting Regulation, including tools, equipment, shampoo bowls, manicure tables, chairs, workstations, etc., and other products after every use.
- Ensure high-touch areas and all equipment are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before opening.
- Remove magazines and soft/porous items such as cushions and rugs that are difficult to sanitize.
- When scheduling appointments, allow additional time between clients for proper cleaning and disinfectant of workstations and equipment.
- Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and common areas such as door handles, counters, cabinet doors, light switches, faucets, toilet handles, handrails, touch screen surfaces and keypads.
- Where possible, use disposable, single-use supplies.
- Most regular household cleaners and disinfectants are effective against COVID-19.
- Use only disinfectants that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) or Natural Product Number (NPN) that is approved for use in Canada. Check the expiry dates of products you use, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Regular detergent can be used for laundering towels and linens.
- Clean and disinfect laundry baskets and launder reusable bags between uses. Do not use the same basket to carry or store clean items.
Service-specific checklists are available for the following:
Download and Print Posters for your Workplace
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