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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association

COVID FAQs for Hair and Beauty salons in NSW

Posted October 18, 2021

When is NSW opening up for hairdressers and other beauty establishments?   

New South Wales allowed hairdressers and beauty salons to open from 11 October 2021.

What requirements do businesses need to comply with?

A business that is a hairdresser, spa, nail salon, beauty salon, waxing salon, tattoo parlour or massage parlour must not allow more than 1 person per 4 square metres on the premises. From 18 October there is no longer a cap on the number of people allowed on the premises, so long as the density requirement is met.

Is it compulsory for my staff and clients to be vaccinated?

The public health order requires that the above businesses take reasonable steps to ensure that an unvaccinated adult is not on the premises. This applies to both staff and clients. There are limited exceptions to this rule, such as those people who have a medical contraindication certificate. There is also an obligation on every individual that they will not enter a hair and beauty salon without being full vaccinated.

Does vaccinated mean one or two doses?

Under the public health order, an unvaccinated adult is a person over the age of 16 who has not had 2 doses of a vaccine. Therefore, one dose of a vaccine is insufficient. Those coming into the premises must have had both doses.

The state government has however announced that in regional areas, staff with one dose will be able to attend at the workplace. Clients still need to be double vaccinated.

Do I have to ask staff for evidence of vaccination?

As businesses are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that everyone that enters the premises is vaccinated, it would appear necessary for an employer to ask for evidence of vaccination.

Do I have to pay staff who cannot attend the workplace because they are not vaccinated?

No. If an employee is required by a public health order to be vaccinated in order to work and they refuse, then the employee is “not ready, willing and able to work” and is not entitled to be paid unless the employee takes paid leave.

What do I do if a staff member is planning to get vaccinated but has not yet been vaccinated?

An employer and employee could agree to the employee taking a period of paid or unpaid leave.


What if a member of staff tells me they have a medical condition that prevents them from having the vaccine?

A person who has a medical contraindication certificate in a form approved by the Chief Health Officer is not considered to be unvaccinated. This means that the person is permitted to attend work.


What if a staff member refuses to get the vaccine and refuses to provide a medical contraindication certificate?

Employers should make it clear that the public health order issued by the NSW Government requires them to take all reasonable steps in ensuring that unvaccinated people do not attend the premises. If the employee continues to refuse, the employer should contact the HABA Advice Line.


Because of the limits on the number of people allowed in my salon, I can’t bring back all of my staff. What do I do?

The employer will need to make a decision based on the specific requirements of the business. If the business employs casual staff, consider whether they will be required to attend work.

Other options include, but should not be limited to:

  • Reaching agreement with staff to take paid or unpaid leave
  • Reaching agreement with part-time employees to change rostering arrangements

Employers that are considering dismissing staff because they are not required should seek advice from the HABA Advice Line.


Do we all have to wear masks?

Face masks provide an extra layer of protection and are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19, particularly when physical distancing can’t be applied.

Any person over the age of 12 years of age must wear a fitted face covering while the person is in an indoor area of a premises other than a place of residence.

The exception to this is if the person has a personal illness that prevents the person from wearing the mask.


Where can I find more information?

Go to

Note: The COVID-19 situation continues to change across Australia. Governments often change public health orders and accordingly our advice is also subject to change.


Do you require further advice?

For information or assistance, please contact the Hair and Beauty Australia Workplace Advice Line on (02) 9221 9911, which is open from 8.30am to 5.30pm AEST or email on

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