Who would have believed less than a year ago the world would be transformed so dramatically, and life would become practically unrecognizable? The threat of COVID-19 has now infiltrated every level of most people’s daily lives as they struggle to stay at home, social distance, sanitize, and wear face masks.
Practices that seemed alien and unthinkable last January have now become common place, as individuals continue to ride this wave of safety to assure their health and those of their loved ones and neighbors.
The spa service industry has been the hardest hit with continued closures and increased sanitation practices that have pushed most businesses outside onto sidewalks and parking lots.
As the closures are slowly lifting, spa owners can finally get back to the business of pampering and treating their clients.
Projected infection rates are predicted to continue well through the mid-year. Following expert guidelines has never been more important to keep spas safe and clean, as well as welcoming clients back in an inviting manner.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the World Health Organization are among many entities that offer resources massage therapists and spas can utilize. This includes new OSHA guidelines published in May 2020 to help massage therapists and spas better protect themselves and clients from infection.
SIGNAGE AND BEST PRACTICES
Signs instructing clients how to proceed through the spa facility need not be unsightly or gawdy. Feel free to get creative. Match signage with spa décor and brochure style, including typefaces and color schemes. Make signs humorous or fun. Don’t forget to update websites and social media accounts with all of this information. Clear communication is key.
Before any client can enter the spa, they must pass an intake procedure confirming they have not been in contact with any person who has COVID-19 or preferably have been tested as well.Place signage at the front entrance explaining all of these new policies and procedures.Many states are still requiring masks for both employees and clients. Consider policies for clients who visit without a mask or are unable to wear a mask. Determine ahead of time if you will provide masks free of charge or as part of a service fee. If a client refuses to wear a mask, most states mandate that the client return only when the mask ban has been lifted.Spas are required to take the temperature of all who enter the facility with a thermal or ear thermometer. Anyone with a temperature above 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit will be asked to stay at home.Most spas are opening at a 25% capacity. If a client needs assistance entering or dressing, their companion also needs to be screened.Once a client has been cleared for treatment, have a designated safe-zone waiting area for them to allow social distancing or ask the client to wait in their own vehicles until their skin care professional is ready. Use text messaging options with personal cell phones to stay in contact if possible.The spa facility itself should have clear boundaries marking the six feet apart measurements, either with floor signage or plexiglass separators.Have clearly marked sanitation stations available, including no-touch hand sanitizer, tissues, gloves, and masks if your spa provides them. Also keep waste bins no-touch or use foot peddle access with lids.
Until strict sanitation protocols are lifted or relaxed, all commonly touched items, like magazines, business cards, brochures, and product samples must be removed. You can offer these sanitized items in clear plastic containers or bags and distribute them to clients upon request. This is also a good opportunity to update all product and services information on the spa’s website or social media.Restrooms and high-touch areas must be cleaned and disinfected after use, and a schedule kept indicating when they were last cleaned. This includes areas such as doorknobs, light switches, counters, chairs, and more. This cleaning schedule can be posted for clients to see.Products and samples should be staff accessible only. Place signage requesting staff to help clients with selecting items. Gloves should be used when touching products and changed between clients and disinfected. Ensure each item a client touches is cleaned or provide disposable individual samples.
The world we once knew has changed, and we may never get back to the “old normal” but by following the safety guidelines and posting proper signage, the “new normal” will make client’s spa visit a true success.
Rachelle Dupree has over 20 years of experience in marketing, media, communications, and design. She studied with a Denver-based herbalist and naturopath for four years, combining her marketing knowledge with her love of natural remedies and skin care. She currently contracts as a marketing and communications director for Vivoderm Natural Skincare and various design clients.