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Mandatory Directive for Personal Care Services Businesses

Mandatory Directive for Personal Care Services - PDF:​ | English | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese |

*Please confirm that your facility may open under the State Order. Where there is a difference between the local County Order and the State Order, the more restrictive order must be followed. The State also has specific guidance for certain facilities that must be followed in addition to this mandatory directive.*

Information on the State’s Order and State guidance is available at

Issued: July 14, 2020
Last Revised: January 3, 2021
Effective: December 6, 2020 at 10:00 p.m.


Under the State’s December 3, 2020 Regional Stay at Home Order and the County Health Officer’s December 4, 2020 Mandatory Directive Implementing State’s Stay At Home Order, all personal care services businesses are temporarily prohibited from providing any personal care services, either indoors or outdoors.  

This restriction is in effect until 12:01 a.m. on the day after the California Department of Public Health announces that the County is no longer subject to the Regional Stay at Home Order, unless the County Health Officer otherwise rescinds, modifies, or extends this restriction.​ 

The rules below allowing personal care services are not operative while these prohibitions are in effect.

On August 28, 2020, the State issued a Statewide Public Health Officer Order (“State Order,” available here) and the Blueprint for a Safer Economy (“Blueprint,” available here. The State Order and Blueprint establish statewide restrictions applicable to each “tier” to which counties are assigned.

Personal care services businesses must follow the mandatory requirements in this Directive and any other applicable County Health Officer Directive, the County Health Officer’s Revised Risk Reduction Order issued on October 5, 2020, the applicable restrictions under the State Order and Blueprint, the State’s COVID-19 Industry Guidance documents, and any applicable health and safety regulations. When there is a difference between these rules, the most restrictive rule must be followed.

For additional rules that apply to outdoor personal care services, please see the following COVID-19 Industry Guidance documents from the State:

A wide range of businesses provide “personal care services” that involve close, often physical contact between service providers and clients. “Personal care services” include hair styling and hair care, including at hair salons and barbershops; nail care, including at nail salons; services provided at body art, tattoo, and piercing shops; esthetician, skin care, and cosmetology services; electrology, waxing, threading, and other hair removal services; makeup application and other services, including services provided at makeup salons; massage therapy and other massage services; services at tanning salons; other businesses providing similar face or body care services; tailoring services; and any educational or training setting at which these services are taught through practice or experience.

While personal care services businesses provide important services that help people maintain their appearance and well-being, they can also pose significant risks to public health in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because personal care services involve prolonged close contact between service providers and clients, these businesses must take extra precautions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission for clients and staff.

This Directive explains how personal care services businesses may operate. This Directive is mandatory, and failure to follow it is a violation of the County Health Officer’s Order issued October 5, 2020 (“Order”). Personal care services businesses must comply with the County Health Officer’s Order, all requirements of this Directive, the State Health Officer’s Order, the State’s COVID-19 Industry Guidance documents, and existing safety- and health-related regulatory requirements, including those issued by the County of Santa Clara, cities in the County, Cal-OSHA, and/or the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

The Order Issued October 5, 2020

The Order imposes several restrictions on all businesses and activities to ensure that the County stays as safe as possible, including but not limited to the following:

  • The Social Distancing Protocol: All businesses and governmental entities that have not already done so must fill out and submit a Revised Social Distancing Protocol under the October 5, 2020 Health Officer Order. Social Distancing Protocols submitted prior to October 11, 2020 are no longer valid. The Revised Social Distancing Protocol must be filled out using an updated template, which is available here. The Protocol is submitted under penalty of perjury, meaning that everything written on the form must be truthful and accurate to the best of the signer’s knowledge, and submitting false information is a crime. The Protocol must be distributed to all workers, and it must be accessible to all officials who are enforcing the Order.
  • Signage: All businesses must print (1) an updated COVID-19 PREPARED Sign and (2) a Social Distancing Protocol Visitor Information Sheet, and both must be posted prominently at all facility entrances. These are available for printing after online submission of the Revised Social Distancing Protocol. The Revised Social Distancing Protocol specifies additional signage requirements.
  • Face Coverings: Everyone must wear face coverings at all times specified in the California Department of Public Health’s mandatory Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings (“Face Covering Guidance”) and in any specific directives issued by the County Health Officer. Further, even where not required under State or local guidance and orders, face coverings should be worn to the maximum extent possible (1) when indoors and not in one’s own residence and (2) whenever outdoors and within six feet of anyone outside one’s own household. This Directive contains a limited exception to the general face covering requirements for minimal amounts of time when people are receiving certain personal care services.
  • Capacity Limitation: All businesses must comply with the limitations established in the Mandatory Directive on Capacity.

See the Order and the FAQ page for more details.

In addition to these general requirements applicable to all businesses under the Order, all personal care services businesses must comply with the following directives.

Personal Care Services Can Be Provided Indoors or Outdoors

All personal care services may be provided indoors or outdoors in the County unless specifically prohibited by the State, by any other applicable law or regulation (such as a Board of Barbering and Cosmetology regulation or a local zoning ordinance), or due to any temporary restriction on indoor services specified in this Directive and the Mandatory Directive on Capacity Limitations. The Health Officer urges personal care businesses to provide services outdoors whenever possible. The outdoor environment helps to ensure ventilation and dispersion of any infectious droplets or aerosols that may be created if a client is unknowingly infectious and receiving services without a face covering on.

Required Safety Measures

In addition to complying with every requirement in the State’s industry-specific guidance (available at [for hair salons and barbershops] and [for all other personal care services businesses]), personal care services businesses must take the following supplemental steps to protect their workers and customers:

  1. Recordkeeping to Facilitate Contact-Tracing Efforts

    To facilitate the County’s contact-tracing efforts should they become necessary, each business must create and retain for a minimum of 21 days after the appointment records of the following information regarding each client’s visit. This information is confidential, and will be subject to disclosure only to the County Public Health Department for case investigation and contact tracing purposes, to protect the health of workers and clients:
    1. The client’s name, phone number, and email address.
    2. The date, time, and duration of the client’s visit.
    3. The name and contact information of workers who provided services to the client.
  1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    1. Personal care services businesses must ensure that workers and clients have and are wearing appropriate PPE required by the Order, this Directive, or any generally applicable law or regulation, including those issued by Cal-OSHA. All personal care services businesses must provide (at no cost to workers) and ensure that workers wear the following when providing services within 6 feet of a client:
      1. Surgical mask that fully covers the nose and mouth.
        • Note: N95 masks are required for workers providing any service for which the client cannot wear a face covering. N95 masks are highly recommended, but not required, for all other personal care service workers, particularly those who will be within 3 feet of a client for more than 15 minutes.
      2. Eye protection (glasses, goggles, and/or a face shield) is required in addition to a mask that covers the nose and mouth for workers performing all services indoors, and for workers performing services outdoors for which the client cannot wear a face covering. For workers performing outdoor personal care services for which the client keeps a face covering on, eye protection is recommended but not required.
      3. Smock or cape that is disposed of or laundered between clients.
      4. Disposable gloves when performing services for which gloves are appropriate, such as chemical hair services or body art. If a worker wears gloves while performing a service, they must be changed between clients.
    2. Personal care services businesses must ensure everyone, including clients and visitors, wears a face covering at all times at the facility except as listed below:
      1. Clients must wear face coverings while receiving personal care services if the service permits it (for example, eyelash services; eyebrow waxing and threading; facial tattoos, tattoo removal, and piercing in areas of the face that do not require removing a face covering; ear piercing; application or removal of eye or brow makeup; haircuts/hairstyling; nail care services; and other personal care services that do not require the client to remove a face covering).
      2. Clients may remove face coverings while receiving a personal care service indoors or outdoors that require removal of a face covering (for example, facial hair removal or treatment; beard trimming or face shaving; facials and face massages; facial tattoos and facial tattoo removal; facial piercing; application or removal of face makeup; and other personal care services to the extent they require the client to remove or adjust a face covering), but only for the minimum time and to the minimum degree necessary to receive the service. Clients must put their face covering back on as soon as they are able to, and must wear a face covering while waiting for their service, walking to and from the treatment area, visiting the restroom, and at all other times while at the facility.
  1. Requirement to Install Physical Barriers Where Feasible.

    Personal care services businesses must install physical barriers (for example, plastic or plexiglass partitions) wherever feasible between the client and worker performing services for that client, and between clients and workers at reception areas. For instance, businesses that provide nail services must install barriers between clients and manicurists.
  1. Dual Services Prohibited.

    Because it requires unnecessary close personal contact by more than one worker at a time, no personal care services business may offer or perform “dual services.” Dual services are when two workers simultaneously perform services on a single client when the services could be performed separately. A common form of dual service is a combination manicure-pedicure at a nail salon, where one person performs a client’s manicure at the same time as another person performs the same client’s pedicure.
  1. “Double-Booking” Requires Additional Cleaning and Social Distancing Measures.

    “Double-booking” is when one worker is simultaneously performing services on two clients that could be performed one after the other. A common form of double-booking is when a single hair stylist provides hair coloring services to one client and then performs a haircut on a second client while the first client is waiting for the color to set. Double-booking can lead to unnecessary close personal contact between a worker and more than one client at a time. Personal care services business may not double-book clients except where (1) the two clients can maintain social distance from one another and from everyone else (other than the worker), and (2) each time the worker stops attending to one client and begins attending to the other, the worker washes their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and uses new gloves, if used.
  1. Tenants and Lessees

    Personal care services businesses must not allow a person who leases or rents space from the business (whether a chair, a booth, or otherwise) to perform any service at or in its facility unless (1) the business undertakes the obligations described in the Order, the Revised Social Distancing Protocol, and this Directive toward that person as though that person were personnel, and (2) that person first signs a statement in the form below. The business must retain the signed statement for its records and for production to County officials upon request, and must provide a copy of the statement to the person signing it:
    Tenan and Lessee social distancing protocol form

Other Steps Recommended by the Health Officer

The following steps are not required, but they are strongly recommended by the Health Officer:

  1. Avoiding activities that require clients to remove face coverings.
  2. Offering designated hours for clients aged 50 and older.
  3. Receiving clients and payment outdoors in front of the facility.
  4. Leveraging technology to conduct consultations remotely rather than in person.
  5. Wherever possible, moving all transactions, consultations, and services outdoors.
  6. Becoming a Santa Clara County Certified Healthy Nail Salon. See

Stay Informed

For answers to frequently asked questions about this industry and other topics, please see the FAQ page. Please note that this Directive may be updated. For up-to-date information on the Health Officer Order, visit the County Public Health Department’s website at

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Last updated: 1/8/2021 2:24 PM