ARCHIVED WEBPAGE: This web page is available for historical purposes. CDC is no longer updating this web page and it may not reflect CDC's current COVID-19 guidance. For the latest information, visit CDC's COVID-19 home page.

Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More information is available here.
Travel requirements to enter the United States are changing, starting November 8, 2021. More information is available here.

What Nail Salon Employees Need to Know about COVID-19

What Nail Salon Employees Need to Know about COVID-19
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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides resources to assist employers and workers identify COVID-19 exposure risks and help them take appropriate steps to prevent exposure and infection. See the OSHA Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) topic pageexternal icon for the most current requirements, guidance, and tools.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness (see current list of symptoms). It is caused by a virus (SARS-COV-2).

COVID-19 can sometimes cause serious complications. Some people are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

See People Who Are at Increased Risk for Severe Illness to find out who is at increased risk.

More Info for Nail Salons

How COVID-19 Spreads

COVID-19 is a new disease, and we are still learning about how it spreads. Here’s what we know now:

  • It mainly spreads from person-to-person.
    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet);
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when a person who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • You can get the virus from people who don’t seem sick or don’t show symptoms.
  • You might be able to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then touching your mouth, nose, or your eyes.

As a nail salon employee, you might come into contact with the virus that causes COVID-19 at your job by:

  • Being in close contact with clients or coworkers for more than 15 minutes at a time;
    • Jobs like manicures, pedicures, and acrylic nails will place you in close contact with clients.

Touching or handling items, cash, or merchandise, and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

How You Can Protect Yourself and Others

Stay home if you are having symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Follow CDC-recommended steps to stay home and separate yourself from other people if you are sick.
  • Symptoms may include:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • This may not be all of the symptoms if you are sick.
  • Do not return to work until 10 days have passed since the symptoms started. If you tested positive wait 10 days. even if you don’t have symptoms.
    • Talk with your healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, or clinic) about when it’s safe to return to work.
  • Follow CDC recommended precautions, and tell your supervisor if you are well, but someone you live with or have close contact with has symptoms of COVID-19, or has tested positive for COVID-19.

Stay at least 6 feet away from clients and coworkers, when possible.

  • Be aware of your fellow employees; take turns using the break room and entering and exiting the building.
    • Use markings or signs on the floor to help you practice physical distancing.
  • Use ventilated tables or portable ventilation units, if available. Move the ventilation units so that air does not blow from person to person.
  • Space apart nail stations, or only use nail stations that are at least 6 feet away from another that is being used.
  • If the nail station has a transparent shield between you and the client, stay on the opposite side as much as possible.
  • If you can, limit the time that you are close to others.

Wear a cloth face covering in the workplace and in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. A cloth face covering does not protect the person wearing it, but it may prevent the spread of virus from the you to others.

  • If surgical masks or respirators are usually required for your job, do not substitute for cloth face coverings.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before putting on, touching, or removing your cloth face covering. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t available.
  • Do not share your cloth face covering with others, unless it has been washed and dried after the last use.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

  • Use single use tools and supplies (like. powder vials for dipping nails) where possible. For items that must be used for multiple clients, disinfect after each client (such as nail file, clippers). Or follow the rules of your local board of health if you are supposed to use single-use tools.
  • Wear gloves appropriate for the products being used. You may need additional personal protective equipment if you are handling things that need extra protection, like acetone or other chemicals.
  • Clean these areas every hour:
    • Countertops, doorknobs, toilets, tables, light switches, phones, faucets, sinks, keyboards, etc.
  • Clean credit card devices, foot basins, curing lamps, keypads, etc. between clients
  • Follow the directions on the cleaning product’s label.
  • Wash your hands

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You don’t need to wear gloves if you wash your hands regularly (unless they are already required for your job).

  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t available.
  • Wash your hands at these key times:
    • Before, during, and after preparing food;
    • Before eating food;
    • After using the toilet;
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;
    • After putting on, touching, or removing cloth face coverings;
    • Before and after work and work breaks, including eating or smoking;
    • Before and after each client;
    • After handling money or credit cards for transactions.

Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Cover your coughs and sneezes.

  • Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water.

Workers who come in close contact with the general public may need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). This might include some combination of gloves, a gown or smock, a cloth face covering, and a face shield or goggles. Your employer should train you on the correct way to use PPE.

  • Change disposable gloves between each client.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer after removing gloves.
  • Wear a clean smock between each client.
  • For more information on PPE, see the fact sheet for nail salon employers.

How Your Employer Can Protect You

Your employer should develop a COVID-19 response plan and share it with you. CDC has created a fact sheet to help your employer too.