Covid-19 return to work rules for Mobile Massage Therapists
Useful documents, courses and links:
Co-Vid 19 Client Declaration Form – download
On 24 June 2020 the UK Government issued advice for close contact services and for working in other people’s homes.
As of today’s date – 1 July 2020 – massage therapists are not allowed to return to work and no date has been given to them for when they may be likely to return to work, however, the releasing of this guidance leads me to believe that the date may be sooner than later
Be ready! Get your business Covid Secure!
All businesses returning work during this pandemic must make their businesses Covid secure. This means that all businesses must act according to Government guidance and the Coronavirus Act 2020. The GOV.UK website has every bit if guidance on there that you need to be able to open your business when you are given the go ahead and it will pay to make sure you are prepared and ready to start when you are allowed to and when , of course, you feel comfortable to.
To be clear, when we are given the go ahead to return to work – it does not mean you have to – you must make the decision that works for you.
The GOV.UK website is an extremely valuable resource and has all the information you need on there, but the relevant advice can be hard to find among the great many advice documents available. So I have found them for you – there are two relevant to mobile massage therapists.
These are lengthy documents which I do advise you read – however- to help you decipher the main points that you need to be aware of, I have read them and discerned what the main points are.
The first guidance document covers all close contact services including mobile and working from home and the PPE:
- Face visors are required, face coverings are optional.
- Gloves are not required for massage.
Here are the relevant paragraphs taken from the guidance:
“In workplaces such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons and tattoo and photoshoot studios, it is likely to be difficult to maintain social distancing, as employees need to work in close proximity to their clients, usually for an extended period of time. An extended period of time refers to the majority of the working day,
irrespective of the number of clients served during the day. The person providing a service (such as hairdressers, because of the period of time spent in close proximity to a person’s face, mouth and nose) should therefore wear further protection in addition to any that they might usually wear. This should take the form of a clear visor that covers the face and provides a barrier between the wearer and the client from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or speaking. Visors must fit the user and be worn properly. It should cover the forehead, extend below the chin, and wrap around the side of the face.”
“Both disposable and re-usable visors are available. A re-usable visor must be cleaned and sanitised regularly using normal cleaning products. There is no requirement for the client to wear any additional protection such as a mask or face covering, when the practitioner is wearing a visor. There is no benefit to either the client or the practitioner of wearing additional PPE to that which they would usually use, beyond the clear visor mentioned above.”
“The most effective methods of preventing the transmission of COVID-19 are still social distancing and regular handwashing. These steps must still be followed as much as possible, even when practitioners are wearing protective equipment.”
“There may be some circumstances when wearing a face covering may be marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure. However, face coverings are not an alternative to wearing a visor in close contact services. When clients are not having a treatment or service, both the practitioner and client should maintain social distancing and so a face covering will not be required.”
This document goes into detail about what we need to do and must be read in full.
Topics highlighted are.
Communicating with households prior to arrival, and on arrival, to ensure the household understands the social distancing and hygiene measures that should be followed once work has commenced.
Keeping the work area clean
- Frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using your usual cleaning products.
- Arranging methods of safely disposing waste with the householder.
- Removing all waste and belongings from the work area at the end of a shift and at the end of a job.
- Maintaining good ventilation in the work environment, for example keeping windows or doors open.
- Washing your hands more often than usual for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose.
- Reducing the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve, not your hands. Throw the tissue in a bin immediately, then wash your hands.3
- Cleaning regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
- If handwashing facilities are not accessible, you should carry hand sanitiser.
Employing staff going into other people’s homes. If you employ staff going to other people’s homes, please read the document for full guidance.
To be COVID secure you need to to a COVID-19 risk assessment.
This is not difficult and there are a couple of resources out there that take the pain away for you.
Firstly, there is a great FREE course that only takes 15 minutes to complete and it gives you a risk assessment that you can tweak for your business at the end of it. You can find that course at the ThinkTreeHub
Secondly: if you want to use that as a guide and make your own risk assessment you can download a word doc to edit yourself here: Blank risk-assessment-template-2019
If you are a business employing less than 5 people you do not need to do a risk assessment for general working (however, it is a good idea to do so). You find out all the information you need on the Health and Safety website
Many therapists ask what forms are they going to have to give to their clients to be able to return to work – the answer is simple – just one.
One in addition to your current paperwork that is.
A client COVID-19 declaration form has to be given to your clients before EVERY appointment. You can email this to them or print it out and take it with you.
Here is a example of one that you can use and edit for your own business. If you keep it as a word doc clients will be able to complete it if you email it to them. Or you can save it as a PDF and print it off to take with you.
RECORDS – according to the guidance mobile massage therapists will have to keep exact records of whom they seem and when. This rule is most likely being followed already by all mobile massage therapists and the client COVID-19 declaration form will allow for this also.
I hope this helps. If you have any questions please add them to the comments and I will answer them as soon as possible.
References and downloads
Co-Vid 19 Client Declaration Form – download