Italy: new rules for hairdressers, barbers and beauticians

Advance bookings and masks to be obligatory in Italy's hairdressers, barbers and beauticians which are set to reopen next week.

A set of guidelines outlining health precautions for Italy's hairdressers, barbers and beauticians has been issued jointly by the Higher Health Institute (ISS) and workplace accidents insurance agency INAIL, reports Italian news agency ANSA.

The guidelines come days before the reopening of the hair and beauty sector which has been closed for the last two months due to the coronavirus pandemic but is expected to get back to business from 18 May.

The precautions outlined are designed to minimise the risk of covid-19 contagion in an industry where professionals and customers are in particularly close contact.

Bookings will be "exclusively by prior booking, during which it is necessary to say what type of treatment is requested in order to optimise waiting times", says the document.

Hair and beauty salons must limit the number of customers, who will be required to maintain a minimum distance of two metres between each other, with frequent disinfection of all areas and equipment.

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The wearing of face masks in hair salons and beauty parlours - by both staff and customers - is obligatory, with the guidelines stating that staff training is "fundamental" for individual protection measures.

Beauty treatments must take place in closed cubicles. Professionals applying treatments to customers' faces are advised to wear visors or face screens in addition to masks.

Saunas, Turkish baths and jacuzzis will not be allowed, reports ANSA. Salons are advised to facilitate the natural circulation of air and eliminate air conditioning or heaters.

The guidelines recommend that, due to the expected high demand and reduced capacity, salons should be allowed to extend their opening hours and open on days when they area normally closed.