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Massage parlours were closed for the bulk of this year given the high risk they pose to the spread of Covid-19. The required close proximity involved with massage services means personal care services have been shut for much of 2020. Massage parlours and spas were closed during the second coronavirus lockdown in England, but now are subject to tier rules. So can massage parlours open in Tier 3?

Businesses across England are now operating according to the tier rules of their location.

Under the new tougher tier restrictions, more than 55 million people in England were placed in the two highest tiers under the new rules on Wednesday, December 2.

The motion was debated at the House of Commons this week and passed with 291 MPs supporting the new measures.

From 12.01am on December 2, 42 percent of the English population were placed in Tier 3 areas.

What are the rules for Tier 3?

According to the new tier rules, Tier 3 restrictions equate to very high risk.

In these areas following rules are put into effect:

  • Households cannot mix indoors or outdoors in hospitality venues or private gardens.
  • The rule of six applies in outdoor public spaces like parks.
  • Pubs or restaurants closed except for delivery and takeaway.
  • Indoor entertainment venues will be closed.
  • Guidance against travelling in and out of the area.
  • Personal care including hairdressing is permitted.

Are massage parlours open in Tier 3?

Under the Government guidance for Tier 3 rules, personal care and close contact services can open.

The guidance reads: “Personal care and close contact services such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty services, saunas, steam rooms, massage parlours and tanning salons can remain open.”

This means under Tier 3 rules, massage parlours are entitled to reopen so long as they adhere to covid-secure guidance.

The above guidance also applies to businesses which operate in different locations, such as massage therapists working in people’s homes.

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What guidance is in place to keep massage parlours Covid-secure?

The Government has published specific guidance about how to keep nail salons Covid-secure and prevent the spread of the virus including:

  • Social distancing must be observed
  • Wearing appropriate PPE equipment
  • Carrying a QR code
  • Using screens or barriers to separate customers
  • Operating an appointments-only booking system
  • Keeping activity time involved to a minimum
  • Increasing the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning
  • Avoiding skin-to-skin contact and wearing gloves where it is not crucial to the service
  • Not permitting food or drink to be consumed on the premises
  • Making sure a limited and fixed number of workers work together.

Which areas are now in Tier 3?

Tier 3 areas now include:

East Midlands

  • Derby and Derbyshire
  • Leicester and Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

North East

  • North East Combined Authority: County Durham, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland
  • North of Tyne Combined Authority: Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside and Northumberland
  • Tees Valley Combined Authority: Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees

North West

  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Blackpool
  • Greater Manchester
  • Lancashire

South East

  • Kent and Medway
  • Slough (remainder of Berkshire is tier 2: High alert)

South West

  • Bristol
  • North Somerset
  • South Gloucestershire

West Midlands

  • Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton
  • Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
  • Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull

Yorkshire and The Humber

  • East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Kingston upon Hull/Hull
  • North East Lincolnshire
  • North Lincolnshire
  • South Yorkshire
  • West Yorkshire.

What about massages in other areas of the UK?

In Scotland, massage therapists cannot operate in tier four areas, which is lockdown conditions.

But they cannot operate up to tier 3 if they take place at a salon or in a therapist’s home treatment room, so long as safety precautions are undertaken.

In Wales, both in-salon and at-home massages can take place, provided all health and safety precautions are followed.

Beauty services closed again on November 27 as part of a tougher, two-week lockdown in Northern Ireland.

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