Hairdressers could unknowingly transmit virus due to ‘inadequate PEP’, scientists say


Hairdressers could unknowingly transmit the coronavirus to their clients due to “inadequate” PPE, scientists have warned. Government ministers have been told that plastic visors worn by hairdressers can allow airborne droplets to escape.

Scientists now say masks and visors should be worn to maximize protection.

Scotland has strict PPE rules in place for close contact retail businesses, including hairdressing, with the Scottish government already insisting that face masks are mandatory for customers and the personal, while the use of a visor is recommended.

Customers in Scotland must wear a mask

Hairdressers in England are required to wear a visor, but it is up to the salon to decide whether staff and clients wear a face mask.

UK government ministers are now facing calls to revise guidelines for barbers and hairdressers and require them to wear both face masks and visors, the Telegraph reports.

The English directives which allow visors without a face shield have been particularly criticized. Scotland’s insistence on face masks is preferred, although scientists say both offer the greatest protection.

Scientists reportedly raised their concerns at the Advisory Group on New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (Nervtag) last meeting on Friday.

The issue was also discussed at a recent meeting of at least one sub-committee of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

Professor Mark Wilcox, professor of medical microbiology who attends Sage and two of its subcommittees, said: ‘I don’t think the guidelines are correct and I don’t understand why visors were chosen over masks. .

“We have, in several contexts, discussed the issue of masks versus visors and I think it would be fair to say that I am not alone in these views. My colleagues both in these and other contexts share my point of view.

“I haven’t met anyone who said visors are the best thing. “

Scientists suggested stylists wear both face masks

Dr Ben Killingley, infectious disease consultant who sits on Nervtag, said: “I don’t know where it came from, where someone decided that just wearing a visor for hairdressers would be enough. It doesn’t make sense to me. .

“A visor is mainly worn to protect workers from splashes. It does the same job as glasses, protecting the eyes. No healthcare worker would ever wear a visor without a mask.

“You would have thought of their own protection and just in case they were infected themselves, they would have to wear a mask themselves. In my opinion, both to protect the barber and the person entering it is not enough to just wear a visor. . ”

Nervtag member Professor Peter Openshaw tweeted his concerns after a haircut by a hairdresser wearing a face shield, which he said offered “no protection”.

Hairdressers returned to work in Scotland on July 15 after new lockdown restrictions were eased.

Over the next few weeks, shielding will be suspended, students will return to school full time, and dentists will be allowed to provide more services.

Gyms, swimming pools and indoor sports fields are due to reopen in September.


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