Reader question answered: “Can beauticians in Regional NSW work on the lower face without masks?”

Q “Hello! I hope you are holding up well during the lockdown. I know you guys are a very respected source of information, and I am struggling to see the information from the government website… Would you guys happen to know if in NSW regional beauticians can work on lower face without masks? I live on a border town [in Wentworth Shire] and it’s just so hard to find information.

Kind Regards, B”

A Hi, B. You aren’t wrong. We went right to the government site for the relevant face mask information for your area and… couldn’t find anything specific to beauty and lower-face treatments.

However with a bit of sleuthing we were able to find some guidance from government websites around face-mask rules and beauty treatments in regional NSW, including your Wentworth Shire.

First there are a few dependencies. One, if your regional area has been plunged back into a lockdown due to a current rise in local COVID-19 cases, then those stay-at-home orders supersede any relaxed restrictions in place.

However, if you are in what is deemed a “low-risk” regional area, which it appears Wentworth Shire is at the time of writing this, then, as of 11 September 2021, your area is no longer in lockdown (i.e. stay-at-home public health orders) and is operating under COVID-19 restrictions only. In a media release from the NSW website it states that “Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises” with the relaxed stay-at-home areas in several NSW regional areas.

On the Wentworth Shire website specifically they state “Wentworth Shire and other parts of regional NSW currently deemed low risk and which have seen zero COVID cases for at least 14 days will emerge from lockdown at 12:01am Saturday 11 September, but will continue to operate under restrictions to ensure the safety of regional communities.”

Healthdirect says that a face mask can be removed when you need to do work that requires you to see someone’s mouth. That would stand to reason that if you need to see their jawline you can remove the mask as well, so long as you, the staff member, keep yours on and your client replaces theirs as soon as the treatment is over.

The updated list of regional restrictions in NSW can be found here and here.

In short, what we can see is that so long as your regional area of NSW hasn’t been placed back under lockdown, and you are operating under the relaxed restrictions, personal care services are allowed and you can have a client remove their mask for a treatment (if you need to see their “mouth” for the service).

As of 11 October 2021 (6 days from now), relaxed restrictions will replace lockdown in NSW for the fully vaccinated, and personal care services (including beauty services) will be allowed to go ahead where a client’s face mask needs to be removed. So if you’re worried about removing it now, you can also wait until Monday and then have very clear permission to do so.

We hope this helps! Thanks for reaching out.

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