How UK spas are preparing for reopening post coronavirus lockdown

As UK spas prepare to reopen after the restrictions of lockdown begin to be lifted, many are planning to make more areas of the journey contactless while promoting spas as spaces for social interaction and outdoor escapism.

These are among the strategies set to be shared during Professional Beauty presents the World Spa & Wellness Conference on May 12–14.

The online conference will deliver business solutions from spas across the globe and is completely free for spa professionals who register in advance.

On Tuesday, May 12, at 1pm, a UK panel will cover the important topic of How to get your reopening strategy right for every client demographic, looking at how clients’ needs and mindsets have changed during lockdown and how that differs between age groups.

Dave Courteen, managing director of Mosaic Health Clubs and Spas, Emma-Jane North, spa director at Wyboston Lakes, Phil Murphy, spa director at Hoar Cross Hall, and UK Spa Association chair Adam Chatterley will each share their insights.

"We’re implementing enhanced levels of disinfection and hygiene – regular cleaning of high-traffic areas and ensuring all areas are easily cleaned," says North.

"We’ll be social distancing the team and guests with shielding in place where interaction is required. We’re looking at allocation of lockers, yielding of packages to space arrivals, reduced operations numbers, reorganisation of relax rooms and enhanced technology so very minimal contact with team."

Murphy adds, "Technology will become more important, especially to help reduce the touch elements and enhance social distancing. For example, online check in, sending schedules to phones, and spa brochures all need to be considered.

"Some systems can even ensure mobile phones open hotel rooms and lockers. The use of technology apps will provide sites to communicate what they are doing post COVID-19, most generations will want to know policies so we must be transparent to reassure.”

However, the need for escapism and digital detox is also set to continue. “More people will want time away from digital influences whilst in the spa. One of our biggest marketing pushes on re-opening will be the idea of the spa being the perfect venue to reconnect with friends you’ve missed in lockdown,” says Courteen. “But I do think that online interaction with millennials and younger clients will be critical in marketing.” 

Murphy agrees, but adds that new safety policies must be communicated clearly to clients to reassure them. “Cleaning regimes and treatment protocols need to be transparent. Clear change and adaption for guests to see will be extremely important.

"Outdoor spaces will be even more popular but spas must not forget about presence of staff looking after touch-point cleaning outdoors as well as indoors. I believe people will be looking for opportunity to visit spas as soon as guidelines are lifted, experiences will be paramount, as we know, for Millennials, and therefore they will be seeking new spa concepts. Digital detox might be a thing of the past as we turn to technology for solutions to cope with overcoming social distancing."

Find out about the specific measures UK spa operators are planning for their own businesses by registering in advance here to join the conversation on Tuesday, May 12, at 1pm.