How should spas proceed following England's Covid rules relaxation?

European Spa asks UKSA general manager Yvonne Ebdon her opinion on how spas should conduct business following the rules relaxation

Following the UK government’s move to step 4 of the ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown yesterday, widescale ‘Freedom Day’ changes and loosening of restrictions have brought with them operational challenges for spa and beauty businesses.

With the Prime Minister removing almost all of the Covid controls, the easing of rules means that there are now no limits on how many people can meet and, in most places, the 1-metre-plus social distancing guidance has also been removed.

"We recommend that, if businesses wish to reduce the risk of temporary closures, staff absence and infections – and keep themselves, staff and guests safe – they take sensible precautions not dissimilar to what they have been doing already."

Yvonne Ebdon

General manager, UK Spa Association

Face coverings are no longer required by law, although the government has stated that it still ‘expects and recommends’ them to be used in enclosed and crowded spaces.

As well as this, from July 19, a reported 12,000 hospitality venues could finally reopen and operate viably for the first time in 16 months.

According to the UK Spa Association’s general manager Yvonne Ebdon, spa businesses can best navigate the new operational landscape by remaining cautious and considerate.

The latest government guidance still recommends a cautious approach

“Whilst not mandated in law, the guidance still recommends that we should be taking precautions. July 19 marked ‘Freedom Day’ in England, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland taking a slower approach to ‘freedom’, but we know that Covid is not going away,” she told European Spa.

According to the Office for National Statistics, while the UK hospitality sector saw signs of recovery in Spring 2021, business confidence still remains low, but has improved with easing restrictions.

CEO of trade association UKHospitality, Kate Nicholls said: “While ‘Freedom Day’ sees thousands of venues finally open their doors and the sector operate viably for the time in 16 months, hospitality is far from out of the woods.

“For the sector to enjoy a sustainable recovery, the right trading environment needs to be put in place to extend the business rates holiday until at least October, allowing firms to bounce back strongly and to rebuild fragile consumer confidence.”

UK Government information

For more government information on working safely during Step 4 coronavirus restrictions, click below

UK Spa Association

Founded in 2013, the UK Spa Association is a collaborative, not-for-profit organisation. Find out more

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