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Guidelines for personal services - stage 3

From noon 5 June 2020, all services offered by beauty therapy, cosmetic services, massage services, body art (tattoo) services and sex worker businesses (a personal services business) in the Northern Territory will be able to operate.

However, the Chief Health Officer (the CHO) has placed requirements on the reopening or resuming of personal services businesses.

These requirements are specified in CHO Directions No 36  PDF (204.3 KB)– Directions for Safety Measures at Reopened Places, Businesses, Activities, Services and Premises (the Directions).

Download guidelines for personal services PDF (217.2 KB)

CHO Directions and mandatory requirements

Under the Directions, a business must:

  • complete and submit to the Department of Health a COVID-19 safety plan checklist before reopening or resuming
  • make available/provide hand sanitiser to customers unless handwashing facilities are available
  • Display signage stating that a person should consider the following:
    • keeping 1.5m away from a person who is not a member of the person’s family, a friend or an acquaintance (a person not known to them);if it isn’t possible to keep 1.5m away from a person not known to them - keeping close contact to less than 15 minutes
      o practising hand hygiene by washing hands or using hand sanitiser
      o   staying home if feeling unwell
      o downloading the COVIDSafe app.

The signs must be displayed in an area or areas that is open to the public and accessible to employees.

A business or organisation that has already submitted a COVID-19 safety plan checklist prior to 5 June 2020, does not need to submit another checklist.

The CHO’s directions are laws and it is an offence to contravene a direction of the CHO.

It is important that you keep informed about the Directions of the Chief Health Officer and any requirements which relate to the types of service that you may deliver.

Guidelines for personal services businesses

In the ordinary course of business, a personal services business must comply with the Public and Environmental Health Regulations 2014.

In addition to the mandatory requirements under the Directions, the following information may be helpful to assist personal services businesses in reopening.

A personal services business should also follow the Public and Environmental Health Guidelines for Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy and Body Art.

How coronavirus (COVID-19) is spread

COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person through close contact and droplets including:

  • direct contact with infected people
  • contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
  • touching contaminated objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables), and then touching your mouth or face.

The best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect your business is through maintaining good hygiene practices and following physical distancing principles.

Protect yourself and others

You should review all aspects of the personal services business that may increase the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.

This will allow your business to apply practical measures to reduce risk of infection between staff or to the general public.

Hygiene practices

The manager of a personal services business should provide training to staff on hygiene practices and any procedural changes that have been implemented to avoid spread of the virus.

Staff members should:

  • wash your hands frequently after going to the bathroom, after handling money, before and after eating and after touching your face or hair
  • avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
  • use a hand sanitiser before and after providing a treatment, or wash hands with soap and water
  • avoid touching areas that have been in direct contact with a customer.

Staff information

Staff members should not attend work if they are unwell.

Managers should advise staff members to go home if the staff member is unwell.

A personal services business should not provide treatments to customers with a suspected communicable disease (such as coughing, sneezing, flu-like symptoms). Refer to SafeWork Australia for further information on keeping your workplace safe during COVID-19.

Wearing gloves

Washing hands regularly or using hand sanitiser will offer more protection against COVID-19 than wearing gloves.

If you are feeling well, there is currently no need to wear gloves, other than as part of the business’s normal infection control procedures (such as when exposure to blood or other body fluids is likely).

It is important to change gloves regularly between activities and wash hands thoroughly between glove changing to prevent contamination from used gloves onto the fresh gloves.

Wearing masks

If you are feeling well, there is currently no need to wear a protective mask. People should practise good hygiene and physical distancing in their workplace.

For intimate and prolonged face-to-face treatments (e.g. eyelash treatments etc), the client and the practitioner may wish to wear masks.
For more information: go to Department of Health

Physical distancing

A personal services business should:

  • ensure customers are 1.5 metres apart in a waiting room
  • for an open plan business - ensure customers are 1.5 metres apart while undertaking services at the business
  • arrange placement of customers so that customers are not seated face to face
  • manage the entry and exit points of the business so that customers are not queuing at these points
  • display, at the entrance to the business, the number of customers that may be inside the business in order to maintain physical distancing
  • place signage around the business to remind staff and customers to maintain hygiene practices and to go home if the staff member or customer is feeling unwell
  • place signage around the business to discourage customers crowding together in any one area of the business
  • encourage customers to remain 1.5 metres apart when moving through the business.
  • Encourage customers to minimise time spent in close contact with a particular focus on minimising face-to-face contact. Face-to-face contact with people not from your group should be 15 minutes or less.
  • A minimum distance of 1.5 metres should be maintained at all times between you and any other people who are not part of your close circle of household or family contacts.
    This means you should not come closer than 1.5m (for more than 15 minutes) to other people such as workmates or those who you may encounter in any place outside of your home, other than those who you are already regularly, and necessarily in contact with to perform your work duties, such as a work partner with whom you travel regularly in a vehicle.
    Physical distancing remains one of the most important measures that we all can take to suppress and control the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Refer to SafeWork Australia for more information on physical distancing.

Cleaning and disinfecting

During the pandemic, extra cleaning should be carried out throughout the personal services business. You should keep your place of business clean and sanitised by taking the following measures:

  • Maintain thorough cleaning and disinfection of facilities, and equipment.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces touched by clients immediately after the treatment has been provide.
  • Clean shared surfaces more frequently, at least twice a day. This could include door handles (front door, cupboard handles), bathrooms, service counters, handrails and EFTPOS keypads.
  • If you think a surface may be contaminated, clean it with a common household disinfectant to kill the virus.
  • Increase cleaning regimes for all other areas within the business. Consider whether aspects of the Australian Government cleaning advice will add anything to your cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

Cleaning products

Use a disinfectant which the manufacturer claims can kill viruses.

Chlorine-based (bleach) disinfectants are one product which is suitable.

Read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution and usage.

Bleach solutions should be made fresh daily as they become less effective over time.

The recommended concentration of available chlorine for routine disinfection of cleaned surfaces is 1000ppm as this concentration has been shown to be effective against the majority of microbial pathogens.

Physical barriers

In certain situations, a physical barrier such as widening the counter can be used to help maintain physical distance between people.

Opaque or clear screen dividers of a suitable material that can be easily cleaned and disinfected can be used to create separation between people.

These barriers should be appropriately designed and installed and be a size that creates protection for the person, especially around the face area.

Rubbish disposal

The risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) when handling waste is low.

Normal collection of waste for households, retail and other businesses continues.

When managing waste, the following good hygiene practices should be followed:

  • disposable gloves, masks, and other items should be placed in rubbish bag before disposing of them with other domestic waste
  • hands should be washed with soap and running water or rubbed with hand sanitiser immediately after handling these items.


Promote cashless payments. However, if cash is exchanged, hands should be washed with soap and water, or use a hand sanitiser after handling money.


It is important to communicate your coronavirus (COVID-19) safety steps with customers.

Provide updates on social media or via emails and provide signage and information at venues.

Encourage all your staff, and customers to follow these guidelines in their daily life to keep our community safe.


Complete online checklist - Health and wellness

Complete online checklist - Beauty therapy, cosmetic services and tattooists

Complete online checklist - Sex workers

More information

Contact Environmental Health COVID-19 Compliance on 1800 095 646.

Get COVID-19 information for workplaces on the Safe Work Australia website.

Additional industry specific advice is available in the Scarlet Alliance Red Book