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Sopwell House is offering private spa experiences in its suites for those who are wary of more communal spaces

COVID-safe spaces With nation-wide social distancing measures in place, the majority of UK spa-goers believe spas offer a safe environment and only 13 per cent of Good Spa Guide survey respondents were apprehensive about going to a spa. Yet, they did expect adequate protocols and 82 per cent of people said they want to know about a spa’s hygiene policy in advance. Many expect that policy to include regular testing of staff and a limit on the number of guests in the spa. Metland says: “Following the pandemic, we’ll all need more privacy. Timed use of facilities, screens in relaxation rooms, and more private areas will become the norm, so spas with private areas will win customers, as will smaller spas that can be booked by friends and families who want a private experience.” Overall, consumers want therapists to wear PPE such as a mask, gloves and a disposable apron, while a smaller group suggested therapists should wear full-face protection such as a visor. Nearly every spa-goer surveyed (98 per cent) would be happy to have their temperature checked on arrival, followed by some respondents explaining they’d expect to re-book their spa day at no cost if they were barred entry. The UKSA survey shows that spas are putting a number of measures in

GRAPH 1 What actions should spas be considering in light of COVID-19?* Visible signage outlining sanitation/hygiene procedures


Contactless payment


Phased re-opening


Limiting footfall


Restricted use of communal spaces


Plexiglass at suitable locations 116 Maximum group size


Restricted access to changing rooms Adjustments to cancellation policies

175 145

Updated T&Cs in relation to COVID-19


Limiting footfall Changing room access and usage

193 174

*Source: UK Spa Association’s What’s Next for Wellness? survey, May 2020

place (see Graph 1). When asked ‘What actions should spas be considering in light of COVID-19?’ the most popular suggestions were contactless payments, updated terms and conditions in relation to COVID-19, restricted use of communal spaces, visible hygiene signage, limiting footfall and phased reopening. After an urgent call for official reopening rules, the UK government finally published its recommendations – ‘Keeping workers and clients safe during COVID19 in close contact services’ – on 23 June. To view the document see here: http://lei.sr/y5D1F .

The UKSA, which was involved with governmental conversations during the process, published its own more spaspecific COVID-19 Reopening Guidelines a day after that and can be read in detail using this link: http://lei.sr/5b2x9. They feature advice about managing risk of infection, returning to the workplace, PPE, social-distancing, cleaning and equipment, as well as information on how to approach treatments and handling treatment room sanitisation. There’s also guidance on reopening pools and thermal areas, managing retail, laundry procedures, spabusiness.com issue 3 2020 45

Profile for Leisure Media

Spa Business issue 3 2020  

Spa Business issue 3 2020