The Division of Consumer Affairs houses 51 professional boards that oversee 720,000 professionals and a Regulated Business Unit that registers 60,000 businesses. Licenses and registrations have staggered renewal dates and some have been extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Requirements for Reopening Cosmetology and Massage Businesses
On Friday, June 26, 2020, Governor Murphy issued
Executive Order 157, amending
Executive Order 154, allowing licensees of the Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling and the Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy to perform services that require removal of a client’s face covering as of 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2020.
In response to Executive Order 157, the Division of Consumer Affairs has issued
Administrative Order 2020-11 (DCA AO 2020-11), which supersedes and replaces
DCA AO 2020-09. DCA AO 2020-11 now provides standards for the provision of personal care services that require removal of a client’s face covering, including requiring licensees to wear additional protective equipment and advising clients of the risks involved. DCA AO 2020-11 also clarifies COVID-19 screening protocols for clients and staff. The order otherwise maintains the health and safety standards required by DCA AO 2020-09 designed to protect clients, staff and licensees from the continued risks of COVID-19.
Please be advised that services still cannot be provided outside of facilities licensed as a shop by the Cosmetology Board, or facilities controlled by a Massage Board-registered employer or licensed sole practitioner, unless and until explicitly allowed by an order of the State Director of Emergency Management, with limited exceptions. The Division’s Administrative Order continues to cover cosmetology shops, barber shops, beauty salons, hair braiding shops, nail salons, and massage establishments.
Consumers and licensees should be aware that these orders establish protocols requiring these facilities to implement operational safeguards to minimize person-to-person contact. These requirements include:
Prepare for Reopening the Premises to Facilitate Social Distancing
- Refer to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19,” located at
https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf, as a guide for reopening shops.
- Install physical barriers, if feasible, to minimize client contact with staff in the reception area.
- Utilize floor markers (such as signs or tape) to designate six-foot distance in common areas of the premises, including the reception and/or waiting area, client service stations, bathrooms, and employee break rooms. Seating in the reception and/or waiting area shall be rearranged or removed to ensure that individuals are seated at least six feet apart.
- Reconfigure the premises to ensure that staff-client pairs maintain at least six feet distance between any other staff-client pairs at all times, unless separated in private closed-rooms or by physical barriers. No more than one person may provide services to a client at any given time. Staff and clients who are not providing or receiving services shall remain six feet apart at all times, unless separated by physical barriers. In order to allow for required social distancing, licensees and owners should consider allowing for additional spacing, using divider shields, and/or establishing alternative work schedules.
- Utilize pre-payment or remote, contactless payment options, when possible. If point of sale equipment is utilized that requires a signature or a PIN, then equipment shall be disinfected after each use. If the exchange of cash is unavoidable, cash should be placed on the counter and not exchanged hand-to-hand. In addition, staff accepting cash shall wipe the counter between each transaction and wash their hands with soap or utilize hand sanitizer after each transaction.
- Establish an isolated area for delivery of supplies and materials.
- Clean all surfaces at the premises with hot soapy water, or cleaning wipes prior to reopening and before disinfecting. Hard non-porous surfaces, such as glass, metal, and plastic and all tools should be disinfected even if they were cleaned before the premises was closed.
- Remove items that are intended to be used by multiple persons and are difficult to disinfect to reduce the risk of transmission, including magazines/books/newspapers or other publications; candy dishes; product testers/samples; any and all open food or self-service food or beverage stations (except for contactless beverage dispensers accompanied by single-use cups); and toys.
- Install hand sanitizers for use by clients and staff.
- Train all staff on the importance of reporting symptoms of illness, infection control procedures, cleaning and disinfection, social distancing, proper use of PPE, cough and sneeze etiquette and hand-washing as often as possible, but always after eating, smoking, using the restroom, removing any PPE, and before and after providing client services.
- Post signs at the premises entrance stating that services will not be offered on a walk-in basis as well as signs in common areas and restrooms to advise clients of the importance social distancing, hand washing for at least 20 seconds, face-coverings, and proper coughing and sneezing etiquette.
Establish Protocols for the Scheduling of Client Appointments
- Decline to provide services to any clients without a pre-scheduled appointment that has been arranged by telephone, text messaging, or online; no walk-ins shall be permitted.
- Advise clients during the scheduling of appointments of the requirements below.
Screen no more than twenty-four hours prior to the appointment all clients scheduled for appointments (or, as applicable, the client’s parent or guardian) via a telephonic or online consultation or questionnaire that includes the screening questions. Any individual who answers “yes” to any one of the screening questions shall be advised that the appointment cannot take place and if they arrive at the premises, they will be sent home and not permitted to proceed with an appointment, without being charged for the appointment or a cancellation fee, and that fees already paid will be refunded or credited toward a future appointment. If the client responds in the affirmative, the client is to be advised that no appointment can be scheduled for at least 72 hours after being symptom free, without having taken fever-reducing medication or before 14 days after exposure to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 positive individual. Licensees shall follow CDC guidance to determine when a client may be rescheduled for an appointment.
Advise clients that anyone coming to the premises will be asked the screening questions again and required to submit to a no-contact forehead temperature check and wear, at a minimum, a cloth face covering at all times, except where doing so would inhibit the individual’s health or the individual is under two years of age. Clients should be further advised that any individual refusing to wear a face covering, if not exempt, without any other exception, shall be denied entry to the premises.
Space appointments to allow adequate time for cleaning and disinfecting all non-porous surfaces in between appointments and to minimize person-to-person contact and the number on the premises at any given time. If feasible, consistent with social distancing, clients should remain in their cars or outside until they are ready to be seen.
Limit individuals inside the premises to clients, minor children of clients, a parent of a client if the client is a minor, or a single companion if necessary to assist with communication or mobility. Unless needed in order to assist with the provision of services, all such individuals not receiving services shall maintain six feet distance in the reception and/or waiting area or remain outside, maintaining six feet distance from others, or in their vehicles.
At no point may occupancy on premises exceed applicable indoor gathering limits established by Executive Order.
Conduct a forehead temperature check on any clients or accompanying individuals entering the premises; those with a temperature exceeding 100.4 degrees, along with individuals accompanying them, should be denied entry. All thermometers shall be disinfected after each use. Temperature checks should be performed in a manner that complies with CDC guidelines to protect staff, including self-administration, physical barriers, or the use of PPE.
Have clients answer the screening questions upon arrival at the premises at the time of the appointment, prior to the provision of services. Any individual who answers “yes” to any of the screening questions shall be advised that the appointment cannot take place; they should be sent home and not permitted to proceed with an appointment. The client shall be advised that no appointment can be rescheduled for at least 72 hours after being symptom free, without having taken fever-reducing medication or before 14 days after exposure to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 positive individual. Licensees shall follow CDC guidance to determine when a client may be rescheduled for an appointment.
Stagger work hours of staff or adjust operating hours to limit the number of individuals in the premises at any given time and accommodate social distancing.
Implement Protocols for Screening All Staff
- Require all staff immediately prior to the initial re-entry after the re-opening of the premises to respond to screening questions. Any staff member who answers “yes” to any of the screening questions shall not be permitted to enter the premises at that time. The staff member shall be advised that no return to work will be permitted for at least 72 hours after being symptom free, without having taken fever-reducing medication or before 14 days after exposure to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 positive individual. Licensees shall follow CDC guidance to determine when an individual may return to the premises.
- Direct all staff to self-monitor for symptoms daily and advise premises managers if they are sick or have had exposure to individuals suspected to have or confirmed to have COVID-19. Should any member of the staff develop a temperature or symptoms of illness, they should cancel or reschedule appointments until at least 72 hour after being symptom free without the use of fever reducing medication. Should a staff member report exposure to an individual who suspected or confirmed to be COVID-19 positive, the staff member should not be permitted to return to work for 14 days or pending receipt of a negative COVID-19 test result. Premises managers shall establish a plan for staff who get ill, and a return-to-work plan following CDC guidance.
Screen all staff members prior to or immediately upon entry into the premises, at the start of every shift, regardless of symptoms, by means of a no-contact temperature check or by means of a thermometer with a disposable cover. All thermometers shall be disinfected after each use. Temperature checks should be performed in a manner that complies with CDC guidelines to protect staff, including self-administration, physical barriers, or the use of PPE. Any individual, who has a temperature over 100.4 degrees shall be sent home and not permitted to enter the premises until at least 72 hours after being symptom free without the use of fever reducing medication. Should a staff member report exposure to an individual who suspected or confirmed to be COVID-19 positive, the staff member should not be permitted to return to work for 14 days or pending receipt of a negative COVID-19 test result.
Require Protective Equipment and Supplies
- Require premises owners, managers, staff, clients, and anyone else in the premises to wear, at minimum, a cloth face covering at all times before, during, and after performing services, except when a client is face down on a massage table, when doing so would inhibit an individual’s health, or the individual is under two years of age. No services may be performed that would require the removal of the client’s face covering, except that a client may remove their face covering when face down on a massage table. When providing manicuring services, manicurists may elect to use a table shield, in lieu of a face shield or goggles. Face shields, goggles and table shields shall be disinfected between each client.
- Provide clients with, at minimum, cloth face coverings, if they arrive for an appointment without a face covering, or decline to provide services. Face coverings need not be provided to those not required to wear them because doing so would inhibit an individual’s health or the individual is under two years of age.
Direct staff to wear gloves when required to handle dirty linens or laundry.
Utilize disposable paper products to the greatest extent possible, including paper towels in restrooms, in lieu of cloth towels or air dryers, disposable cups and utensils in breakrooms and neck strips, table drapes, chair coverings, which are to be changed after every client, and immediately discard disposable items in a closed container.
Allow for break time for repeated hand washing between clients, throughout the day.
Provide supplies for regular hand washing with non-antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60 to 95% alcohol or antiseptic hand wash and use no-touch receptacles for disposal.
Make sanitizing and disinfectant materials available to staff and clients, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes for hands and surface disinfecting for environment surfaces.
Enhance Disinfection and Cleaning Practices
- Adhere to infection control guidelines by cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas routinely, and after each use, and at the end of the day, particularly in areas that are accessible to staff or other individuals, including restroom facilities, toilet and sink knobs, light and fan switches, countertops, floors, door knobs, hand rails, water fountains, phones, shared equipment, credit card machines, key pads, displays, and display products (unless kept in an enclosure out of the reach of clients), as set forth at
- Implement additional infection control measures to assure that all surfaces, stations, tables, rolling carts, chairs, head rests, arm rests, products on stations, and equipment are disinfected between clients.
Cover massage tables or the warmer and padding, as well as porous, soft surfaces in plastic or a comparable non-porous material and disinfect between clients.
Allocate sufficient time between appointments to ensure that there will be ample time for appropriate disinfection between clients (10-15minutes).
Improve ventilation by increasing the circulation of outdoor air as much as possible, by opening doors and windows and by using HEPA air filtration systems, whenever possible.
Use disinfectants that are EPA–registered and labeled as bactericidal, virucidal and fungicidal as verified at
www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfect-ants-use-against-sars-cov-2. Disinfectant for immersion should be made daily and discarded if contaminated. Homemade cleaning products (e.g., vinegar and essential oils) may not be utilized as cleaning agents or disinfectant.
Ensure that all cloth capes, neck strips, drapes and towels are clean and laundered or disinfected, following the fabric recommendations, between every use, using a disinfectant spray, a disinfectant wipe, or a clean disinfectant saturated towel, and allowed to set according to recommended contact time for the specific product used. Disinfectants can be mixed according to directions and put in a spray bottle for use.
Place staff garments in a closed container for laundering and disinfection immediately after use. Launder all garments, linens, towels, drapes, and capes in soapy water and dry completely at the warmest temperature allowed until they are hot to the touch prior to reuse.
Prohibit product-sharing between and among staff and for multi-use products, use single-use disposable applicators to safely remove product without contamination.
Perform enhanced cleaning and disinfection after individuals suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 have been in the premises, referring to CDC guidance on “Cleaning and disinfecting your building or facility if someone is sick.”
Decline to provide personal care services in any location not licensed as a shop by the Cosmetology Board, or in a fixed establishment or place where massage services are provided that is controlled by an employer registered with the Massage Board or by an individual licensee who does not employ another licensee to provide massage and bodywork services, until such time as permitted by a subsequent Executive Order or Administrative Order issued by the State Director of Emergency Management. The prohibition of personal care services offered outside of the facilities authorized in this section shall not prevent the provision of services to a person that is confined to their home and unable to travel due to a disability, if these services 1) are permitted under existing statutes and regulations and 2) are provided in a manner that substantially complies with the requirements of this order.
Stay Informed About Developments and Obligations
Monitor guidelines and directives issued by the New Jersey Department of Health, the Cosmetology Board, the Massage Board, the CDC and OSHA on an ongoing basis.
Maintain an appointment book with contact information regarding clients served, as well as a daily log of staff, and submit such information if requested to do so by, or on behalf of, the Department of Health or the local board of health.
Notify the local health department immediately if it is suspected that any person who is known to have contracted COVID-19 was on the premises while COVID-19 positive, and cooperate with contact tracing efforts.
Questions about the Division’s Administrative Orders may be referred to the
New Jersey Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling and the
New Jersey Board of Massage and Body Work Therapy.
file a complaint about alleged violations of these orders with:
- the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling; and
- the New Jersey Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy.
Please note that Executive Order No. 154 (Murphy) (June 13, 2020) also authorized the reopening of electrology services, which are overseen by the Electrologists Advisory Committee of the State Board of Medical Examiners. Electrology licensees must follow the safety procedures applicable to all healthcare providers established by the Division’s May 18
Administrative Order 2020-07, as well as applicable statutes and regulations.
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