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Covid Safety Re-Opening Checklist

for Massage Therapists


Booking and Screening

  • If the client books within 24 hours of appointment, verbally ask if s/he has experienced within the past 24 hours: coughing, sneezing, headache, loss of sense of smell or taste, difficulty breathing or a fever.

  • If booking is made more than 24 hours before the appointment, the above needs to be asked during the confirmation call made the day before the appointment. If the client can’t be reached by phone the day prior to the appointment, a health screening questionnaire can be emailed, to be returned electronically before coming to the appointment.

  • Be prepared to spend extra time on booking calls to go over and/or answer any questions regarding Covid safety protocols implemented in your office

  • Explain that the client should arrive no more than 10 minutes before the appointment time, to avoid crowding in the waiting area. If the waiting area is too full to ensure social distancing of 6’, the guest may need to wait in the car.

  • Collect payment at the time of booking, if possible, to avoid handling cash, checks, credit cards and pens (more items to sanitize).

  • Explain to the client that we are requiring everyone to wear a mask in the massage office and during the session.

Checking-in Clients

  • If you work in a massage center, make sure appointments are staggered to minimize groups at the front desk or in the waiting area

  • Clients should be seated at a social distance of 6 feet apart in the waiting area. If the waiting area can’t accommodate all the guests waiting to be checked in, then recommend waiting in the car.

  • If the guest does not have their own mask, provide a disposable mask to wear during the session.

  • Use a touchless system for taking guest’s temperature.

  • Amend your waiver to include:
    • Have you or any one in your household experienced any of the following within the last 24 hours: coughing, sneezing, headache, loss of sense of smell or taste, difficulty breathing or a fever? Yes or No. Any affirmative answers would indicate the need to reschedule the guest at least 2 weeks later.

    • I am coming in with a clear conscience that I am healthy and have not come into contact with anyone with Covid-19. Obtain a signature (dated) below this statement.
  • Staff members at the front desk need to disinfect pen, clipboard, counter space or anything else a guest touches, in between each guest that is checking-in or checking-out.

  • Hand sanitizer should be available for all guests to use upon entering and/or leaving the massage center (C.D.C. requires 60-70% alcohol content).

In the Massage Room

  • Schedules should allow 20-30 minutes between appointments to allow time for appropriate sanitation. Sanitation spray needs to contain 60-70% alcohol and can be used with a cloth rag to avoid paper waste. Disinfecting wipes are a second option.

  • All surfaces (table or counter tops, window sills, door knobs, light switches or anything else a guest or practitioner might have touched) need to be disinfected.

  • All supplies (massage oil, essential oil, body treatment products, etc) need to be disinfected.

  • All disinfected massage supplies need to be stored in a closed drawer or cabinet to avoid potential contamination.

  • All clean sheets need to be stored in a closed drawer or cabinet for the same reason.

  • Dirty sheets need to be stashed in a bag in a closed hamper. The bag ensures that you can empty the hamper without touching the dirty sheets.

  • Clients’ clothes should be stored in a closed bin, also to avoid any potential contamination.

  • All surfaces that are soft, such as a massage table, face rest, stool or pillow, need to have a wipeable or vinyl cover so they can be disinfected.

  • Massage therapists and clients must always wear a mask when in the office and treatment room.

  • Wash your face mask after every day of work (or change it).

  • If the guest is having difficulty breathing and requests to remove the mask when prone, then a pillow case can be placed inside the face rest for the client to breath into. They will need to be reminded to put their face mask back on when supine.

  • Cover your clothing with an apron or smock, which needs to be changed in between each guest.

  • Blankets, pillow cases, as well as sheets need to be changed between each guest. For laundering ease,I recommend a flannel sheet to use as a blanket.

  • To remove linens, fold them inward, so that you are touching only the surface in contact with the massage table.

  • Adjust your “hellos” and “good-byes” to avoid handshakes or hugs.

  • Wash hands for 20 seconds before and after a session, as well as after removing dirty shirts and sanitizing the room.

  • If you unconsciously touch your face at all during a massage (please avoid!), hands should be sanitized before resuming massage.

  • Please ask guests to wash or sanitize hands before starting the massage. They may wish to wash them after the massage, too.

  • Wherever possible, keep windows open to maximize ventilation. Place a fan in every treatment room for the same reason. This might necessitate the need for a space heater, as well.

  • In treatment rooms without windows, I recommend air purifiers which will filter droplets from the air.

  • Provide lidded trash cans, with a foot pedal for opening, in your treatment room.

  • Consider side-lying shoulder and neck massage, as an alternative to sitting just above the guest’s head, while the guest is supine.

  • Be sure to sanitize hands before refilling oil or cream containers.

  • If you need to use a common computer keyboard and mouse (shared with others), then the computer then needs to be sanitized between uses.

Other Things to Consider
  • In the bathrooms, provide sanitation wipes, and a sign with instructions, urging everyone to wipe the sink, toilet handle, light switch and door knob, after each use.

  • If you prefer green sanitation products, the following green products meet.

  • C.D.C and E.P.A criteria: Pure Green 24 Sanitizer, H2O Orange Sanitizer, Seventh Generation Wipes, Clean Well Hand Sanitizer, and EO Wipes and Hand Sanitizer.

  • Avoid self-serve water or snack stations in your office. You can put a glass of water in the treatment room for the client.

  • Common food needs to be removed from the staff break room. Staff should be expected to disinfect any equipment (such as a microwave or sink handle), surfaces or eating implements, after use. Social distancing guidelines to be followed in the staff room, as well.

  • Consider changing cancellation policy so clients who report having Covid symptoms are not charged if they do not receive service. 

Email me at: [email protected] 

Visit my website at: OpenPathwaysMassage.com

See my online CEU courses at: OpenPathways.Teachable.com

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