Covid-19 update: saunas and steam rooms in England can reopen
After six months of enforced closure due to coronavirus, spas in England can finally reopen their saunas, steam rooms and thermal facilities with immediate effect.
For spas to operate these facilities in a Covid-19-secure way, the following rules for saunas, steam rooms and thermal facilities must be followed:
- Maximum capacity restricted to 50%. For example, a sauna designed for four people can now only be used by two people at the same time
- Facilities should operate with 2 metre social distancing, including marked seating points in each room
- Guests should be given fixed times and staggered slots to enter the sauna or steam room. For example, a sauna with a normal capacity of four people can offer an appointment time of 12pm–12:15pm, with up to two individuals able to book this slot. Clients must arrive at their set time. They may leave and re-enter the sauna at any time but must vacate by the end of their dedicated slot
- Where technically possible, increase air flow and air changes to the maximum possible
- Ensure that saunas, steam rooms and any equipment are cleaned regularly, at the beginning and end of the day, and at regular intervals in-between, determined by the risk assessment.
The full protocols for guidance around Covid-19-secure use of saunas, steam rooms and all thermal facilities have been published in the DCMS guidance for Sports and Gym Leisure Facilities, not in the Close Contact Services Guidance.
The UK Spa Association (UKSA) wrote to the Prime Minister, chancellor, secretary of state for BEIS, secretary of state for DCMS, and chief medical officer on several occasions to request a reopening date and to further emphasise the evidence around the safety of saunas and steam rooms.
This is amazing news for the spa industry who were frustrated when saunas and steam rooms were unable to reopen on August 15, as originally planned.
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