Hairdressers and barbers could be inadvertently transmitting Covid-19 to their customers as a result of “inadequate” official guidance stipulating that they should wear visors rather than masks, government advisers have warned. Scientists have expressed fears that plastic face shields being used by workers in hair salons provide insufficient protection for the wearer and client because they leave a significant gap through which small airborne coronavirus droplets could pass. In the NHS, visors are generally only used in addition to masks, as only the masks are specifically designed to cover the nose and mouth. The Telegraph understands that scientists raised concerns about the equipment worn by hairdressers and barbers in the latest meeting of The New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) on Friday, as well as in a recent meeting of at least one sub-committee of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage). Ministers are facing calls from Sage and Nervtag scientists to require barbers and hairdressers to wear masks or face coverings – either alone or with visors as well. Swiss authorities raised concerns about the use of visors alone last month after an outbreak among staff at a hotel. All of those who became infected wore plastic visors, while those wearing masks came out unscathed.
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