Spas open: When will spas reopen? Lockdown update

Spas have been closed since Prime Minister Boris Johnson shut the country into lockdown on March 23 this year. While many restrictions have now been eased, spas are still likely to be one of the last parts of the hospitality industry to reopen.

Many Brits will have been dying for the opportunity to take a weekend away of rest, relaxation and pampering following being cooped up inside during the lockdown.

But with the hospitality industry closed for business due to the coronavirus outbreak, a deep tissue massage or aromatherapy facial is sadly off the cards until the Government deems spas safe enough to reopen again.

“The impact of the lockdown has already been absolutely crippling to the entire sector, which contributes around £7bn to the UK economy and many businesses will just not survive closure for much longer,” says Lesley Blair, chair of BABTAC (the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology).

“It is an impossible situation because, while our industry is desperate to get back to work, we are also an industry that takes our duty of care for our clients very seriously and thus must be guided by scientific and government research and comply with them.”


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When will spas reopen?

The Prime Minister has not yet outlined when spas across England will be allowed to reopen.

Hotels and spas have been permitted to open in several countries in Europe, however with the FCO travel advisory still out, it’s unlikely you will be able to travel to one of these in the near or immediate future.

Because spas have so many shared facilities, and because treatments usually always require close contact, it could, unfortunately, be one of the last elements of the hospitality industry to get back on its feet.

What will spas look like post lockdown?

It is so difficult to predict, given that spas use so many shared facilities and treatments are given by another person.

While both industry insiders and spa-goers are keen to return to business as usual, health and safety remains the first priority.

Like all other businesses, spas will have to make sure they comply with ‘COVID secure’ guidelines, but specific advice for the industry has not yet been formulated.

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Similar to hotels, common touch surfaces such as magazines and self-service food and drinks will not be seen again until coronavirus has fully passed.

While spas were already exceptionally clean and hygenic in normal times, cleaning staff will be on hand to sanitise any shared facilities between usage, such as poolside beds and door handles.

Temperature checks may also be put in place, and health consultations may be required before being allowed in.

Andrew Stembridge, executive director of Iconic Luxury Hotels, told the Independent: “The consultation process will be undertaken prior to arrival and will now include an additional health check relative to any symptoms the guest may have versus ongoing conditions or health issues.”

Again, just like hotels, one way systems could be implemented to prevent guests bumping into one another.

Swimming pools are another consideration – while chlorine has been found by scientists to kill coronavirus, pools have still not been allowed to reopen across England.

More intimate experiences, like massages and facials, could be the last element of spas we see again.

If spas are able to open this summer, these treatments will probably not be going ahead.

While hairdressers, which will be reopening on July 4, have been asked to use measures such as face masks and shields, spas and beauty salons have not been deemed appropriate just yet.

While the current landscape for spas seems uncertain, it is clear that the reopening process will be phased and unlikely to return to the pre COVID-19 norm for some time yet.

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