California COVID-19 Update—Guidelines Released

RE: Information regarding your state's back-to-practice permission date and safety guidelines to minimize risk of exposure to, and spread of, COVID-19 in the workplace. 

Permission to Practice No Sooner than June 19, 2020

Massage therapists, estheticians, cosmetologists, and nail professionals may resume business operations no sooner than June 19, 2020. Specific reopening dates will be determined by counties with county health officer approval. We encourage you to track your county's reopening plans to find out your back-to-practice date. Once on the linked webpage, scroll a third of the way down, click on your county, then go to your county's COVID-19 website.

To prepare yourself and your business, California recently issued Personal Care Guidelines. These updated guidelines also apply to hair services, which were previously allowed to open in Phase Two.

Although the guidelines apply to massage therapy in "non-health care settings," massage therapists in any setting should follow the state guidelines for expanded personal services. In addition, massage therapists working in a "health care setting" should also follow the April 27 guidelines for Deferred and Preventive Healthcare. These guidelines essentially provide limited requirements and primarily help identify which clients you should treat in which order.

No professional is permitted to return to practice before June 19, 2020, except for massage therapists working in a medical setting. Visit the COVID-19 California website for the most up-to-date information regarding coronavirus testing, available financial assistance, and health and safety precautions.

Cosmetology Exam Testing

The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology announced it will be reopening the Fairfield examination site on June 22, 2020, and the Glendale examination site on June 29, 2020. The board is starting the rescheduling process. Candidates will be scheduled first based on those who had their exam canceled, pre-applications, and then in the order the applications were received. PSI sites are open, and candidates can call 877-392-6422 regarding a written exam, and 800-733-9267 regarding a reciprocity license pickup.

Additional Safety Resources

ABMP, ASCP, AHP, and ANP understand there is a fine line between getting back to work and earning an income and protecting the safety of you and your clients. As you consider returning to work, we urge you to make government permission to work only one element of your decision about whether and when to reopen. Please review our comprehensive series of back-to-practice guidelines to help reduce risk and keep you and your clients safe.

We also have helpful forms and printouts available on our website, including office policies, screening questionnaires, and posters to remind clients about social distancing and handwashing.

We appreciate your membership and will continue working on your behalf to update you as we learn more. Please check our COVID-19 page for updates. Be safe and be well.

If you have questions or concerns, email us at