California COVID-19 Update—Updated 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. 

New Guidelines for Personal Care Services 

The California Department of Public Health issued new guidelines for Personal Care Services on July 2, 2020, for massage therapists, estheticians, cosmetologists, and nail professionals. Here are the major changes in the new guidelines:

  1. Masks are required for practitioners at all times. Masks are required in all “public and workplace settings where there is a high risk of exposure” (page 3).
  2. Facials and beard trims are now allowed, so long as the worker is wearing a face mask and a face shield to cover their eyes (page 12).
  3. Linens need to be placed in a “lidded receptacle that is outside the treatment space, if possible” (page 9). The major change to this section from previous guidelines is the addition of “if possible.” The previous guidelines required the receptacles to be outside the treatment room, which is not always possible due to fire and building codes. This updated guideline allows the lidded receptacles to be inside the treatment room if necessary.
  4. The language regarding emptying wax pots between clients has been removed.

As you are aware, what is happening in California regarding COVID-19 is fluid and subject to change. These updated guidelines apply to you, but your county’s guidelines take precedence. Please stay informed on what is happening in your county to find out your back-to-practice date. It is vitally important that you follow your county’s guidelines. We encourage you to make sure your county is working with the July 2, 2020, guidelines. On the linked webpage, scroll a third of the way down, click on your county, and then go to your county’s COVID-19 website. 

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