Barbers warned not to cut COVID safety corners

Release Date: 08 September 2020

Local barbers are warned to make sure they are following the national guidance on how to keep people safe – with over 20 local businesses found to be flouting the COVID-19 rules!

The Council’s Food and Safety team have been working hard throughout the pandemic to make sure that businesses across the borough understand the national guidance and how to apply it locally.

Generally, businesses are following the rules. However, over the past few weeks there have been growing reports of barbers that are not.

The Food and Safety team have found that staff in more than 20 premises across the borough are not wearing the correct PPE to keep themselves and their customers safe. Due to the proximity of the service, Government guidelines advise that barbers should be wearing both a face mask AND a visor, and customers should also be wearing face covering.

In addition, all barbers should be keeping customer records to support NHS Test and Trace. In a number of these locations, businesses have not been complying.

Whilst formal enforcement action has not yet been taken, the Council is keen to remind businesses and customers, that if measures are not implemented – enforcement action, including notices, could be issued and prosecutions could follow in the near future.

Cllr Richard Baker, Lead Member for Business at Richmond Council, said:

“We know that for many smaller businesses these rules can be a big expense. However, by abiding by the guidance we are keeping people safe – not only customers, but also the staff. 

“We recognise it has been a tough time for our local businesses. However, we also know that if we don’t keep the COVID-19 rate down, we could face another lock down.  

“We don’t want to take enforcement action... But, if we see persistent offenders, we will have no choice.

“If you visit a barber and they are not wearing the correct PPE, or not taking note of your contact details, please don’t risk your health or the health of the staff. Speak to the manager and if they can’t help, report the business to us so we can make sure that they can put in place secure measures.”

Barbers can visit GOV.UK to get confirmation on what guidance they should be following.

Remember:

  • To ensure that staff wear PPE in accordance with Government and public health advice
  • Business to support the NHS Test and Trace system by requesting contact details for customers when inside the premises  
  • Business to ensure that social distancing is maintained by managing the number of people on the premises and the arrangement of furniture and equipment
  • Business to require customers to wear a face covering when in the premises. Masks could be provided as necessary
  • To encourage contactless payments
  • To provide hand sanitizer for customers entering the premises
  • Business to have a comprehensive cleaning and disinfection rota
  • To ensure premises are well ventilated  

If you are concerned about a local barber, email: foodandsafety@merton.gov.uk

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P352/20

Updated: 30 September 2020