As the government is beginning to re-evaluate the COVID-19 restrictions, letting us exercise more, allowing us to travel to beaches and parks, and encouraging those who can do so to return to work, you may be starting to think about booking your massage or beauty treatments.
I have certainly missed all of you, my lovely clients, and cannot wait to welcome you, once again to the salon and treat you with the very best in massage and maintenance treatments. Let’s hope it’s not too much longer.
Whilst 4th July has been mentioned frequently as the date that hairdressers hope to return to work, it is also a date talked about within many of professional groups to which I belong as the date we might be able to start treating our clients, existing and new. Unfortunately, until there has been an explicit government announcement permitting clinics and salons to treat clients, this is unlikely to happen.
As a professional beauty and massage therapist, I cannot just recommence treating clients when I think it is safe to do so, I have to act in line with the Government advice to ensure I operate legally. It will only be after an explicit announcement by the government that my, and other therapists, insurance companies will again cover us to work. (The local authorities also have the power to impose an ‘unlimited fine’ on businesses which open when they are supposed to be closed!)
A quick check on the BBC Website with regards to the phases of coming out of lockdown stated:
Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, hotels, cinemas and places of worship will open from 4 July at the earliest, as long as they can meet social distancing measures.
However, indoor public spaces such as beauty salons, where social distancing may be difficult, could reopen ”significantly later”, depending on when the rate of infection goes down.
As you all know, I love my job. I love being able to pamper and treat you, my wonderful client. I love that I can make a positive difference in your life and be there for you. However, one of the most important aspects of being a professional therapist is that I do no harm!
Prior to Coronavirus I could ensure your safety and well-being by maintaining health and safety within the salon, ensuring I was GDPR compliant (oh, what I would give for the nightmare of GDPR rather than the unknown of this pandemic!), patch testing, and contra-indications to treatments. Now I also have to consider how to keep you as safe as possible and look at all the measures I can take to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to the absolute minimum.
I am, of course, delighted and encouraged that beauty therapists, massage therapists, reflexologists and aromatherapists in some parts Europe and America have started back at work in the past couple of weeks. This gives me hope that, before the summer is out I will be able to return to my vocation and look after all you lovely people.
Fingers crossed this is the case. However, as we know, the world has changed beyond comprehension and it is unlikely to be business as usual. The latter will not happen until a vaccine, a cure, or both are found!
If you follow me on Facebook, follow my page here, you will have seen that I have been doing a number of online courses and classes with regards to how I can safely carry out massage and beauty treatments once I am allowed to treat.
As I mentioned previously, there is a lot of speculation and, until the government comes up with a definitive guide, no-one actually knows what will be involved. However, after completing the online courses I thought I would take the opportunity to let you know of some of the changes you may experience on your next visit:
- A risk assessment will be carried out on the salon. I will look around the salon and ensure that all ‘hazards’ are removed. Luckily, most of my salon is completely sanitisible so, for me, this will most likely involve removing towels and all products/machinery that are not necessary for your visit to make sanitising between clients safe and easy.
- We all know the old adage, ‘coughs and sneezes spread diseases’ – but so do door handles, work surfaces, our hands – in fact, any surface that someone who has the virus touches is a potential pathway to infection. All surfaces within the salon will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised between each and every client.
- This will have an impact on appointment times as I will need to ensure that I have sufficient time before, and after, your appointment for a full clean of the clinic. Every surface that might have touched will be cleansed. Not just internally to the treatment room but also gate latches, door knobs, light switches, toilets seats and flush handles, taps, etc etc.
- I will therefore be increasing the gap between clients to ensure your safety. You will still be able to book online but, rest assured there will be a gap of around 30-40 minutes between appointments to ensure your safety and peace of mind.
- Should your treatment require de-robing, you will be asked to put your clothes in a plastic box which can be easily sanitised between clients.
- It could be that your comfortable pillow is replaced with a rolled up towel that can easily be replaced after each client and treated after your visit at a high enough temperature to kill the virus.
- I am presently researching disposable couch coverings and face cradle covers in case these will provide better protection for my clients.
- If masks are required for myself, these will be changed for each client.
- If clients are required to wear a mask I will, of course, remind you before your appointment.
- If gloves are required then it is suggested 4 pairs to be used for each client – in addition to hand washing.
- You may be asked to sanitise and/or wash your hands before and after your treatment.
- Some states in America have recommended changing clothes between each client so, if this becomes legislation, then I can easily do this. Disposable aprons have been spoken about in the UK, so we will see.
- I am also very aware of products used within your treatment. For example, some essential oils can affect the respiratory system, especially if someone is recovering from Covid-19. They may have recovered to the point where it is safe for them to come for a treatment but their full lung function may not have returned and I would not wish to further irritate the lungs. Incense can also be a trigger for asthma.
- With regards to products, I propose to decant what I anticipate to need and discard anything that is left after your treatment to ensure that there is no risk of cross-contamination from me touching bottles etc.
- We know how important it is to rehydrate after holistic treatments such as massage, aromatherapy, reflexology and the like so I will request you bring your own bottle with you or I will have some bottles of still water available.
- It could be that I am asked to take my temperature everyday and display the result – I will happily email clients that are due in with that figure.
- You will likely be asked to confirm, prior to your appointment, if you have been experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus or if anyone in your household has had symptoms. It may be required that you take your temperature before your appointment.
- It is likely that you are asked to rearrange your appointment if you are experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus or have household members who are isolating. There will, of course, be no penalisation for people cancelling at the last minute during these trying times.
I believe that sums up what I have learned and industry speculation at this present time. As soon as I have more information available, I will, of course, update you.
Whilst it all sounds quite daunting at the moment I am sure we will quickly get used to any changes and recommendations that are required in the ‘new normal’.
I’d like to summise that your health and well-being is at the forefront of my mind. Equally, I cannot wait for you to be able to return to the salon and for my healing hands to work their magic on your mind, your body, and your soul.
Until we meet again, please stay safe and do hesitate to contact me if there is anything at all I can help you with or if you have any questions or queries moving forward.