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Close Contact Business Guidelines

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These guidelines are intended to apply to “close contact personal services, which include: barber shops, hair salons, waxing salons, threading salons, nail salons or spas, spas providing body treatments, body-art facilities or tattoo services, tanning salons, and massage-therapy establishments or massage services. Substantially similar occupations and businesses may also utilize these guidelines as appropriate.

These guidelines do not replace or supersede any requirements applicable to your business or licensed employees pursuant to law or regulation, including but not limited to the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance and Tennessee Department of Health. Rather, these guidelines are intended as a supplement to assist with safely reopening and providing services due to COVID-19.

Due to the nature of close contact personal services, an abundance of caution should be exercised to mitigate or prevent exposure to COVID-19. Persons who are more vulnerable or at-risk for COVID-19 as identified by the CDC — including those who are over the age of 65 or those who have severe underlying medical conditions — should take extra precaution or refrain from using close contact personal services.

 

Safeguarding Guidance

In addition to strict adherence to CDC guidelines, the State recommends all providers of close contact personal services implement an assortment of measures to protect consumers and employees, including:

 

Employee Protection

  • Screen all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms with the following questions:
    • Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days? (Note: This does not apply to medical personnel, first responders, or other individuals who encounter COVID-19 as part of their professional or caregiving duties while wearing appropriate PPE.)
    • Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath or sore throat?
    • Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
    • Have you had new loss of taste or smell?
    • Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?
  • Temperature screening employees:
    • Best practice: employers to take temperatures onsite with a no-touch thermometer each day upon arrival at work
    • Minimum: temperatures can be taken and logged before arrival. Normal temperature should not exceed 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Practice recommended social distancing to the greatest extent possible— “Further is safer”
  • Employees should increase hygiene practices—wash hands more frequently, avoid touching face, practice good respiratory etiquette when coughing or sneezing
  • Change any protective garments on a regular basis and sanitize reusable garments such as aprons or smocks at least once per day.
  • All employees should stay home if feeling ill, report any symptoms of illness to supervisor and require notification of COVID-19 positive case in employee’s household. Employees who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the CDC (e.g., due to age or severe underlying medical conditions) are encouraged to stay home
  • Direct any employee who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms (i.e., answers yes to any of the screening questions or who is running a fever) to leave the premises immediately and seek medical care and/or COVID-19 testing, per Tennessee Department of Health and CDC guidelines. Employers should maintain the confidentiality of employee health information.
  • Employers should provide training, educational materials, and reinforcement on proper sanitization, handwashing, cough and sneeze etiquette, use of PPE, and other protective behaviors to their employees on a regular basis
  • Employees should wear a cloth face covering (not N-95 or medical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers) and other personal protection items as recommended by the CDC; if masks become wet or visibly dirty, the mask should be replaced
  • All employees should wash hands between serving each customer, and more frequently as necessary. If appropriate for the service provided, gloves are recommended and should be discarded after each customer. The use of gloves should not be considered a replacement for frequent handwashing
  • Consider designated staff to be tasked with maintaining heightened sanitization efforts
  • Post extensive signage regarding increased cleaning, sanitization, and hygiene practices
  • Perform regular disinfection of high-touch surface areas (e.g., door handles, counter space, light switches, tools and instruments) at least every two hours and when visibly dirty

 

Consumer Protection

  • Do not offer any self-serve food or beverages. Temporarily close water fountains. Encourage guests to provide their own water
  • Prohibit congregating in break rooms, check-in counters
  • Customers should wear a cloth face covering while in the premises (not N-95 or medical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers) and as recommended by the CDC and executive order of the governor, except for services that require removing face-coverings (e.g., beard shaving/trimming, facials, etc.). Use other personal protection items as recommended by the CDC
    • Staff providing services that require customers to remove face coverings should wear both a cloth face covering and a protective face shield
    • For massage, prone positions could be uncomfortable or dangerous for clients who are wearing face coverings. Accordingly, massage professionals may consider other appropriate precautions such as draping a client’s head and face cradle cover with a thin cotton pillowcase. Otherwise, a face covering should be worn during portions of treatment in which the client is not prone or facedown
  • Screen customers for illness upon their entry into the premises:
    • Best practice: Temperature checks for every customer. Customers with temperatures above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit should not be permitted in the premises
    • Minimum: Question customers regarding COVID-19 symptoms
      • Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days? (Note: This does not apply to medical personnel, first responders, or other individuals who encounter COVID-19 as part of their professional or caregiving duties while wearing appropriate PPE.)
      • Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat?
      • Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?

 

Business Process Adaptation

  • Limit the number of customers allowed in the premises to allow for appropriate social distancing. Workstations should be at least 6 feet apart, with additional measures taken as necessary to ensure that all people stay 6 feet apart at all times except for the staff providing a service to their client. Physical barriers to be used where necessary
  • Services are encouraged to be offered by appointment only; no walk-ins if possible
  • Prohibit use of waiting areas (e.g., could adopt such practices as notifying customers by call or text message) or serenity lounges; limit use of other common areas by multiple people at one time (e.g., elevators, breakrooms, etc.)
  • Businesses should remove all books, magazines, or any shared material for customers
  • Ensure thorough workstation and equipment disinfection after each customer (i.e. sanitize all equipment, instruments, capes, smocks, linens, chairs and work area); alternatively, utilize single-use or disposable items
  • Implement enhanced sanitization of commonly touched surfaces and equipment (i.e., at least every two hours and when visibly dirty), using CDC recommended sanitizers and disinfecting protocols
  • Discard any single-use tools (e.g., files, buffers, neck strips) immediately after use
  • Encourage touchless payment methods where possible
  • Place hand sanitizer stations in shop lobby and bathrooms
  • Do not allow self-serve products (e.g., “testers”); consider limiting customer contact with retail products before purchase
  • Daily deep cleaning and sanitization to be completed for high-touch areas (tanning beds, massage tables, salon chairs, etc.)
  • Use appropriate temperatures for washers and dryers to ensure thorough sanitization of towels, linens, etc.
  • Open windows and doors where possible to increase ventilation
  • Do not allow non-customer companions to accompany customer during a service
  • Do not allow group or communal settings for close contact personal services (e.g., couples’ massages, salt rooms, saunas, pools)
  • Plan for potential COVID-19 cases, and work with local health department officials when needed (e.g., monitor and trace COVID-19 cases, deep clean facilities)
  • Covered employers and employees should be aware of the provisions of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which allows for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons, such as for self- quarantining or seeking a medical diagnosis for COVID-19 symptoms