COVID-19 Safe Piercing Practise Recommendations as of May 13th


Safe Piercing Practise Recommendations as of May 13th
Version 1.0 subject to update following government guidelines

The UKAPP is not an official government body but a voluntary health and safety organisation. The following are our suggestions as to the minimum level of responsible safe practises to be implemented prior to returning to work after the Covid-19 pandemic. All local government laws must be followed.


  • Common items touched by clients must be disinfected immediately after use, included but not limited to: Door handles, pens, clipboards, tablets and card readers
  • All non-essential furniture should be removed from the reception area to discourage loitering, limited seating may remain but must be clearly labelled to conform with social distancing i.e. “one person may be seated only”  
  • Floor markings to denote 2 metres distance in larger spaces/tattoo and piercing studio receptions where potentially more than 1 client may be waiting to ensure clients can stand at a safe distance from each other should be clearly visible and their condition well maintained to prevent becoming a tripping hazard. 
  • Ventilation should be employed in the reception area, air circulation can reduce viral transmission so if possible open windows and/or use a HEPA filter in the reception. HEPA filters are not currently known to remove the virus but will improve general air circulation.
  • Switching to appointments only if currently operating on a walk in basis is strongly recommended as it is the only way to control people traffic in the studio and provide adequate clean up time between clients.


  • All clients should be encouraged to wash or sanitise their hands on arrival.
  • Consent forms should be updated to include a client declaration stating they are not currently awaiting Covid-19 test results and to the best of their knowledge have not been within 2 metres of an individual with Covid-19 symptoms in the previous 14 days.
  • Clients should have a place to store their belongings that can be wiped down between uses i.e.  non-porous countertop or where space is limited a plastic basin.
  • Face coverings* are required to be worn by all staff and all clients. In the instance that an I.D. check is required, ask your clients to remove their face covering from 2 metres away and make hand sanitiser or hand washing available to them before and after touching their mask. 
  • Oral piercings and jewellery changes are not recommended under any circumstances. 
  • Nasal piercings and jewellery changes are not recommended without the use of a full face shield/eye protection
  • No extra persons may be present in the piercing room with the exception of parental guardians or in the case of genital piercing.


  • A safe system of work Covid-19 procedure manual and action plan must be written for each studio. Assessing risk, stating what tasks must be undertaken with/between each client interaction, and what action must be taken in the event of a suspected transmission. This assessment must be made available to all employees at any time, and all employees must be provided this information and the opportunity to query it prior to returning to work. 
  • All staff should have the same basic understanding of cross contamination, training must be provided to them at a reasonable time at which they can attend prior to re-opening. 
  • PPE must be provided to staff including face coverings. 
  • Protective eye wear is recommended during piercing procedures. Protective glasses should be disinfected between uses and not stored with any clean goods, a designated wall hook or small shelf would be a sufficient isolation space.

*Face coverings include all manner of face masks, each individual studio will have to determine what type of mask they will use and whether they will make masks available to clients or insist they wear their own. 

In the case of reprocessing face masks, this can not be done in a clean only autoclave.