[Updated] Saunas and steam rooms must remain closed

Update: Based on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's press briefing on Friday July 31 announcing that face treatments in beauty salons and spas will not be able to resume from August 1 as planned, the UK Spa Association (UKSA) has confirmed that saunas and steam rooms must also remain closed until August 15 at the earliest.

The UKSA received confirmation from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that saunas and steam rooms must remain closed.

The statement from BEIS says: "As the Prime Minister has said, with infection numbers creeping up, our assessment is that we should tighten some measures in order to keep the virus under control.

 "We will therefore be postponing the reopening of those close contact services that involve operating in the highest risk zone around the nose and mouth, until 15th August at the earliest. At all times we are guided by the science and it is our ambition to reopen them as soon as we can.

"In addition to the close contact services mentioned above, the following will remain closed until 15th August at the earliest:

  • Casinos, Bowling Alleys, Skating Rinks
  • Indoor performances
  • Pilots of larger crowds in sports venues and conference centres will not take place
  • Wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted, but ceremonies can continue to take place, in line with COVID-Secure guidelines
  • Saunas and steam rooms"


Spas may still continue with treatments that avoid the high risk zone on the face, while indoor and outdoor pools, spa pools and gyms may remain open.

The below was correct as of Thursday, July 30: 

The UK Spa Assiociation (UKSA) has received verbal and written confirmation from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that saunas and steam rooms can reopen in England from August 1.

Saunas and steam rooms can reopen on the condition that social distancing is enforced and the areas are regularly cleaned and sanitised. Face coverings are not necessary for those using the sauna or steamroom facilities, but operators of saunas and steamrooms will need to assess the facilities so that social distancing can be practised by guests. 

According to the UKSA, “This reopening is subject to social-distancing guidelines. Operators of saunas and steamrooms must calculate how many people can be accommodated at one time.

“No face coverings are to be worn in the sauna or steamroom and these facilities must be regularly cleaned.”

The announcement means that saunas and steam rooms will be permitted to reopen on the same day close-contact services, such as facials and facial waxing, can commence.

In a press conference on 17 July, the Government announced that spas could reopen from July 13, with outdoor pools, hot tubs, jacuzzis and whirlpools able to reopen from July 11, and indoor versions to reopen from July 25. 

Prime minister Boris Johnson said, “From August 1, we will be reopening most remaining leisure settings and we will enable close-contact services [such as] beauticians to resume.” 

Find out more about what treatments could have been performed from August 1 and read these tips to welcome clients back to you spa safely and seamlessly.