As spas and massage parlors reopen or prepare to reopen their doors, we want to make sure that our partners have a variety of resources available to them to devise their reopening strategy.

Geoff Allard of Yihan Spa, a wellness Day Spa located in Midtown Manhattan, has been working diligently on his reopening strategy since April. He’s put together several thoughtful procedures and protocols for his spa, which reopened in July. Geoff shares his reopening strategy below and also in our Fitness and Wellness Safety and Cleanliness Guidelines Webinar

This wellness spa and massage reopening checklist provides general guidelines and does not supersede any laws under which your business operates. Always follow the health and sanitation regulations established by your local, state, or federal government. 

Step 1
Familiarize Yourself with Local Laws and Regulations 

  • Familiarize yourself with new laws and ordinances at the local, state, and federal levels related to spa and massage business reopenings. For example, see how many people can be in a common spa facility or which massage services and treatments are permitted.  
  • Identify practices and policies that will need to be adjusted resulting from any new laws or regulations 
  • Find general resources in our Wellness & Beauty Salon reopening strategy during COVID-19. 

Step 2
Establish Process for Rehiring Your Employees 

  • Establish process and timeline for rehiring or reacclimating laid off or furloughed employees
  • Amend job descriptions to include sanitation duties and other changes
  • Review compensation models and policies to determine if changes are required in the case of employee illness, late cancellations, etc.
  • Review policy related to sick leave and sick pay
  • Establish necessary changes to employee scheduling patterns

Step 3
Update Processes & Procedures for Employees

  • Set social distancing standards for employees in communal staff areas
  • Identify the protocol for employees to follow if a guest at the spa becomes sick
  • Determine how spa and room capacity restrictions will be monitored and who will be responsible for monitoring
  • Establish staff areas of responsibility for cleaning and sanitation
  • Develop sanitation schedule corresponding to areas of responsibility 
  • Create policies regarding wearing gloves, masks, or other personal protective equipment (PPE) during spa or massage treatments
  • Create an FAQ list and talking points on how to handle guest inquiries employees regarding sanitation, new policies, and social distancing guidelines
  • Establish wellness and sanitation “check-in” procedure at start of shift, including temperature check before the appointment begins

Step 4
Provide Resources and Education for Employees

  • HR should provide employee training to educate them on new laws or regulations applicable to their role in the spa and massage world
  • Educate staff about updated sanitation practices and policies, including 
    • Proper use of disinfectants
    • No-touch greeting policies
    • Effective hand washing practices
    • Proper PPE use, including accepted face mask types
    • No-touch greeting policies
    • Removal of certain amenities if applicable
  • Provide proper hygiene stations for employees 

Step 5
Review Current Spa Offerings 

  • Evaluate treatment menu for items that may need to be removed or altered 
  • Consider transitioning to single-use disposable copies or a digital or no-touch promotional display of available services
  • Consult with providers of spa equipment utilized in services to ensure proper sanitation protocols are in place 

Step 6
Update Your Booking & Payment Platforms 

  • Evaluate and adjust appointment scheduling to allow implementation of updated cleaning and sanitation practices, social distancing, etc 
  • Review cancellation policies, especially as they relate to illness or suspected illness and how you can best handle late cancellations at your spa or massage business
  • Inform guests in advance of new safety measures, changes to the facility, procedures, etc. they will experience when arriving at the spa
  • Evaluate pre-arrival intake forms to determine if gathering additional guest information is necessary 
  • Implement touchless payment options when available
  • Select date when new reservations will be available
  • Share date and treatment menu with guests

Step 7
Communicate all Updates to Employees

Step 8
Communicate all Updates to Guests

  • Send “Welcome Back” emails to guests outlining
    • New sanitation practices and policies 
    • Updated spa and massage offerings and time limits
    • Advertised reopen date
    • Expectations on what may visually be different when they enter the spa
    • Changes to payment process
    • Changes or new guidelines relating to the use or availability of communal spaces/amenities
    • Updates to intake forms (if applicable)
    • Occupancy limits and spacing requirements (if applicable)
  • Communicate reopening timeline with resource partners/vendors and third-party partners.
  • Distribute a press release announcing the reopening and the spa’s commitment to guest safety and high sanitation standards
  • Work on marketing your spa and massage business. Read more about how you can market your business on ClassPass.

Author Bio
Geoff Allard is a co-owner of Yihan Spa. Yihan Spa is a full-service Wellness Day Spa that focuses on bringing your body, mind, and spirit into perfect harmony.


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