Barbering and Cosmetology - Nails

COVID19 Prevention Checklist Industry Guidance

Last updated: Jul 9, 2020

The State of Maine has adopted a staged approach, supported by science, public health expertise, and industry collaboration, to allow Maine businesses to safely open when the time is right. The plan is available at

This is one of many industry guidance documents the State is preparing for businesses so they can be prepared to meet health guidelines and reopen safely. Please make sure you pair this document with the general guidance document that applies to all industries, which is available on

Please note: This document may be updated as additional information and resources become available. 

Barbering and Cosmetology - Nails

All existing safety, sanitation and infection control standards established by the Barbering and Cosmetology Licensing Program are still in effect and enforced. Reference, Program Rule Chapters 20 and 26, which is available at

General Guidance (Updated 6/10/20)

  • Require all staff, vendors, and clients to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from individuals who are not part of their household group whenever possible.
  • Require all staff, vendors, and clients to wear a face covering, per CDC recommendations and pertinent Executive Orders from the Office of the Governor.
  • The number of individuals that can gather in a shared space must not exceed the limit established by the Governor’s Executive Order.
    • Maintaining physical distancing of 6 feet and wearing face coverings are the primary tools to avoid transmission of respiratory droplets between individuals. If an indoor space cannot accommodate the gathering limit without complying with the six-foot distancing requirement, attendance must be limited to allow for such compliance.

Employees (Updated 6/10/20)

  • Employees should consider whether they can work safely if they have any of these conditions and supervisors should discuss potential risks for individuals with the following:
    • People 65 or older
    • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
    • People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
      • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
      • People who have serious heart conditions
      • People who are immunocompromised: Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune-weakening medications
      • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
      • People with diabetes
      • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
      • People with liver disease
  • Workers should stay at home if they are sick. Supervisors should ask all workers to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms using either of the following approaches:
    • Use an electronic or app-based self-screening form, such as the Coronavirus Self-Checker available on the federal CDC’s homepage.
    • Self-screen using the following questions:
      • Do you feel ill or are you caring for someone who is ill?
      • In the past two weeks, have you been exposed to anyone who tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Adjust training practices to limit the number of people involved and allow for 6-foot spacing; use virtual/video/audio training when possible.
  • Provide employees training on:
  • Consider employee training in safe de-escalation techniques.

Building Considerations (Updated 6/10/20)

  • Take steps to improve ventilation in the building.
    • Increase the percentage of outdoor air (e.g., using economizer modes of HVAC operations) potentially as high as 100% (first verify compatibility with HVAC system capabilities for both temperature and humidity control as well as compatibility with outdoor/indoor air quality considerations).
    • Increase total airflow supply to occupied spaces, if possible.
    • Disable demand-control ventilation (DCV) controls that reduce air supply based on temperature or occupancy.
    • Consider using natural ventilation (i.e., opening windows if possible and safe to do so) to increase outdoor air dilution of indoor air when environmental conditions and building requirements allow.
  • Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water.
    • Consider restricting the use of water fountains to refill only with instruction for individuals to wash or sanitize hands after use.

Client Services

This checklist page applies only to nail services.

  • Appointments
    • Schedule appointments with adequate time in between to reduce the number of clients in the establishment at a single time and to allow time to properly clean and disinfect in between clients.
    • Employers should be held accountable for allowing their employees to have enough time to allow for proper disinfection without repercussions.
    • Post a sign that states services will not be offered to or given by anyone who is exhibiting signs of COVID-19 virus.
    • Ask each client the following questions ahead of time, when they set up the appointment and again when they are entering the shop:
      • Have you had a cough or sore throat?
      • Have you had a fever or do you feel feverish?
      • Do you have shortness of breath?
      • Do you have a loss of taste or smell?
      • Have you been around anyone exhibiting these symptoms within the past 14 days?
      • Are you living with anyone who is sick or quarantined?
  • Limit people in the establishment
    • See clients by appointment only.
    • Schedule by telephone or online only.
    • For contact tracing purposes, establishments should maintain a record including contact information for clients, and those personnel who had direct interaction with them.
    • Maintain physical distancing in waiting areas or consider closing them entirely.
    • Ask clients to wait outside in their vehicle or if not possible, at the entrance of the business with at least 6 feet between clients until their scheduled appointment.
    • Remove extra items from waiting areas such as magazines and samples.
  • Maintain physical distancing at all times
    • Spacing between persons within the establishment salon should be at least six feet, except when staff are servicing clients.
    • Consider additional spacing between work stations, divider shields, and/or develop alternate work schedules to accomplish this.

Personal Protective Gear, Supplies, and Clothing

  • Facemasks
    • Establishment employees, including practicing owners must wear surgical masks at all times (as long as there is not a facemask shortage situation for healthcare). Cloth coverings are not acceptable.
    • Provide workers with up-to-date COVID information and training on safe donning, doffing, and disposal of personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks.
    • Clients should wear face coverings.
  • Face Shields
    • Employees are advised to wear face shields in addition to facemasks when servicing clients, if available. If face shields are not available, other eye covering is advised, in order of preference, goggles, or eyeglasses.
    • Consider providing physical barriers to protect customers and staff such as partitions or plexiglass barriers.
  • Personal Protective Equipment
    • Clean and disinfect reusable items or discard in a closed container.

Cleaning and Disinfection

In accordance with Barbering and Cosmetology Program Rule Chapter 26, all tools, implements and equipment must be cleaned and sanitized in accordance with required standards.

  • Wash hands with soapy, warm water, for a minimum of 20 seconds between every client service.
  • Ensure that soap and paper towels are available at all sinks.
  • Each establishment shall be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to reopening and then daily.
  • Disinfect all surfaces, tools, implements, equipment, and linens, even if cleaning occurred prior to the closing of the establishment.
  • Disinfectant for immersion of tools must be mixed daily and replaced sooner if it becomes contaminated during the day.
  • Disinfectant only works on a clean surface so clean all surfaces and tools with hot soapy water, Ship-shape or cleaning wipes (if using wipes, be sure to cover surface thoroughly) before disinfecting.
  • Contact time refers to how long the disinfectant is visibly wet on the surface allowing it to destroy the pathogens.
  • Typical contact time for immersion/sprays is 10 minutes, for disinfectant wipes is 2-4 minutes.
  • Observe contact time on label to allow disinfectant to work properly.
  • Change disinfectants used for immersion daily or sooner if it becomes contaminated (ex: hair/debris floating in solution or cloudy solution.)
  • Disinfection is for hard non-porous surfaces, glass metal and plastic.
  • Porous/soft surfaces cannot be disinfected and must only be used once and then discarded (tools such as cardboard files, buffers, drill bits etc.)
  • Launder all linens, towels drapes, and smocks in hot soapy water and dry completely at the warmest temperature allowed and store in a closed cabinet. Store all used/dirty linens in an airtight container.
  • Provide Barbicide® or EPA disinfectant wipes, liquid disinfectant containers, and Barbicide® concentrate/or EPA approved disinfectant for disinfecting technical implements and work areas.

Reception Area

  • Suspend “self-service” food stations, such as coffee in waiting areas. (Updated 6/10/20)
  • Remove all unnecessary items such as magazines, newspapers, service menus, any other unnecessary paper products and decor. Wipe down all seats and tables; since cloth chairs are difficult to properly clean and disinfect, consider plastic covering.
  • Wipe reception desk with disinfectant. Consider discontinuing use of paper appointment books or cards, and replace with electronic options.
  • Employees should frequently wash their hands after the using the phones, computer, cash register and/or credit card machine. Wipe these surfaces between each use. Plastic shields on keyboards and other high-touch devices can help with ease of cleaning.
  • Avoiding the exchange of cash can help greatly in preventing spread of virus, but if this is unavoidable, be sure to wash and sanitize hands well after each transaction. The use of credit/debit transactions is preferred, using touch/swipe/no signature technology. Keep six feet away during transactions and remain masked.
  • Clean and disinfect all retail areas, daily, including products. Place a sign prohibiting clients from self-serving in the retail area and to ask for assistance. Remove and discard all “Test” products.
  • Clean and wipe all door handles and other surfaces that are regularly touched by clients and staff with disinfectant wipes.
  • Provide hand sanitizer and tissues for employees and clients and trash bin for disposal.
  • Consider floor stickers and signage that provide guidance for maintaining 6-foot physical distance.
  • Placement of visible and appropriate signage to communicate to the client that thorough sanitation procedures are in place.


  • Clean and disinfect ALL restroom surfaces including floors, sinks and toilet bowls.
  • Place trashcan by door. Remove anything that does not have to be in the restrooms.
  • Post handwashing signs in the restrooms for both employees and clients.

Work Areas

  • Work Stations
    • Clean and disinfect all work area surfaces and inside open compartments.
    • Clean and disinfect chairs, headrest, and armrests (the use of harsh disinfectants can damage leather chairs, and cloth chairs are difficult to effectively disinfect, so plastic coverings should be used).
    • Wipe down chair and headrest between clients and consider disposable covers that may be discarded.
    • Clean and disinfect all reusable tools, implements and items and store in an airtight closed container.
    • Remove and discard all single use tools such as used paper files, drill bits and buffers.
    • Clean and disinfect all linen hampers and trash container daily and only use closeable containers with disposable linings.
    • Provide hand sanitizer at all work locations for employees and clients.
    • Consider station barriers between workstations.
    • Employee food and drink should not be in the work area.
  • Nail Services
    • Manicuring tables must be fully disinfected prior to each new client.
    • Cover the table with a clean towel or plastic disposable covering between each client.
    • Avoid shared contact items such as nail color samples unless these items can be sanitized between clients.
    • Each new nail service requires replacement with new or clean articles for each client, including, cloth towels, finger bowls, spatulas and any other tool or implement that comes into direct contact of the nail or skin or skin product from multi-use containers.
    • Disposable, single-use items are encouraged.
    • For cleaning standards of Foot Spas, Foot Basins and Spa Liners, refer to Barbering and Cosmetology Program Rules Chapter 26, section 26.270 – 26.282.

COVID-19 Prevention Form

In order to open, businesses must commit to complying with requirements of these checklists by filling out this short online form. Please note that religious organizations and licensed health care providers are not required to use this form.

If you have questions, please contact us at or 1-800-872-3838.