Update: as of 8th August it is mandatory for clients to wear masks while on the premises of any place offering massage therapy, unless exempted for health reasons. I will not be able to offer treatment to anyone unwilling to comply with this requirement.
On 9 July the government issued a 43 page set of guidelines, which have the force of law, to advise “close contact services”, such as massage therapy, what arrangements must be in place to ensure that the risk of Covid spread is mitigated as far as possible. The new arrangements which I’ve put in place are based on these and on the guidance put out by the General Council for Massage Therapists who reviewed the government guidelines:-
- We will both need to complete a short screening form before the appointment to confirm that to the best of our knowledge neither of us has, or has recently had, any Covid 19 symptoms or been in recent touch with anyone who has,
- I will phone or video call you, by arrangement, the day before your appointment to find out from you how you’re feeling and what areas you’d like to focus on during the treatment, in order to minimise time spent face to face in the treatment room which is not strictly necessary,
- I will phone or video call you after your appointment to guide you through self care techniques which you can use to build on the treatment and help you stay well between appointments,
- Therapists are required to keep treatment times shorter. Therefore 90 minute massages will not be available for the time being and hands on time in a normal one hour appointment will be no more than 40 minutes,
- I will be wearing a visor and a mask. I will have a mask available for you, but you are welcome to wear your own if you prefer. If wearing a mask is likely to be a problem because of asthma, COPD or another respiratory problem we can discuss this in advance. Time spent with you face up will be minimised (unless we are working on your legs and feet, when it is less of an issue) and I will use more face down or side lying techniques when treating you. I am required to wear gloves but clients are finding that they are not aware of the gloves at all.
- We are not allowed to work on the face as this is considered a high risk area. Those of you who have had facial massage will appreciate what a shame that is but obviously unavoidable for the present. I’m happy to teach some basic facial self massage techniques to anyone who is interested.
- There is no requirement to have your temperature taken before the treatment but I have an infra red thermometer and am happy to take your temperature (or mine) before the treatment if this adds reassurance.
- Please try to arrive as close to your appointment time as possible and wait for me to come and collect you from the bottom of the stairs to the treatment building. You will be given the opportunity to wash your hands on arrival.
- Payment will be, as before, by bank transfer or cash. If you’re paying by cash, please try to bring the right money and in an envelope if at all possible.
- If you think you may want a drink of water before or after the treatment, please try to bring this with you.
- All linens, including the couch cover, will be changed between each client and I will be wearing a fresh uniform for each client. As always, oils and waxes will be decanted into a dish for each client and any unused will be disposed of. The treatment room will be cleaned thoroughly between appointments and the window opened to allow the room to air. There will be a much longer gap between appointments to allow for this to be effective.
- I am required to keep a record of your having been for an appointment for 21 days and to disclose contact details of all clients if I am contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
- I will email you before the treatment to remind you of all of this and to send the pre screening questionnaire, which we will go though on the phone and I will ask you to sign on arrival (to avoid sending personal info by email).