The Soma Room vs. Coronavirus
With the threat of a global pandemic having been realised, worries and concerns about COVID-19 are understandably at the forefront of most people’s minds. While we don’t know what the next few weeks and months have in store for the UK and the world, The Soma Room is committed to doing everything possible to keep our clients safe and healthy.
With this in mind, we wanted to let all of our clients know the steps we are taking to ensure that The Soma Room is as hygienic as it is cosy. While we have always maintained extremely high standards of cleanliness, we have taken this situation as an opportunity to redouble our efforts and make sure that all of us are working together to keep The Soma Room healthy and virus-free.
Updates to our policies and protocols include:
- Hand washing – As massage therapists we were already fanatical about regular hand washing, always ensuring that our hands and forearms are scrubbed between each client. As hand washing has been shown to be the best line of defence against COVID-19, we will be increasing the frequency and duration of our time at the sink, and requesting that our clients do the same. Our therapists will be washing their hands immediately upon entering the clinic, before every massage, after every massage, after eating or drinking, and before leaving the clinic, for at least 20 seconds each time. In addition, every client will be greeted with a smile and an invitation to wash their hands before their treatment begins. Hand sanitiser, while currently in short supply, will additionally soon be available in both treatment rooms as well as our reception area.
- Sanitising of all surfaces – The Soma Room has always been professionally cleaned on a twice weekly basis. We have instructed our cleaner to take special care in disinfecting the surfaces which are used most frequently – including door handles and frames, taps, our card machine, light switches and our kettle, amongst a list of others! In addition, our therapists will be sanitising items used during each treatment in between every massage, as well as their phones, laptops, and any other personal equipment they use during the day. We have always used a fresh disposable face rest cover for each client, as well as freshly laundered sheets, but have extended this to include underlying ‘wipe clean’ covers (imported from America), which while still being soft, can also be disinfected in between clients. While you won’t notice any difference in comfort during your treatment, the ability to completely disinfect all areas of the massage table between clients will be a key improvement.
- Cancellation policy – Our standard cancellation policy is 50% of the cancelled/changed appointment with less than 24 hours notice, and 100% for less than 2 hours notice, in order to protect the livelihood of our therapists. We have now amended this policy for any cancellations due to potential contagious illness, which will NOT incur a charge. Therefore, if you are experiencing ANY signs of contagious illness such as a sore throat, fever, cough, runny/blocked nose etc, however mild, please call us to cancel without penalty. We only ask that you please let us know as soon as possible, so that we can try and offer your space to someone else. Likewise, if you arrive for your appointment showing any symptoms of a cold or flu, we will be unable to treat you and will request that you reschedule for when you are better. Please note that no shows will still be charged 100% of the appointment fee, so please make sure you get in touch with us if you need to cancel due to illness.
- Therapist illness – If any of our therapists experience any flu or cold like symptoms (however mild), and you have an appointment with them within the next seven days, we will call you immediately to reschedule. During this time, we will be asking them for regular updates on their progress, and ensure that they don’t come back to work until they are 100% back to health.
- Gift certificates – Our standard expiry date on all gift certificates is usually 6 months from date of purchase. Due to the uncertainty over how long the current situation is going to last, we have now extended all of our gift certificates to be valid for 12 months from date of purchase.
- Time between appointments – We normally leave 15 minutes in-between each client, which is usually sufficient to get the room changed around and to ensure every appointment starts on time. However, due to the increased level of cleaning and sanitising we’ll be doing while this current situation continues, we have increased the time in between each appointment to 30 minutes.
We will be remaining open as long as it is safe and responsible to do so, and will be following all government guidelines as necessary. While much of this situation is out of our hands, we will accept the things we cannot change, and find the courage to change the things we can. In turn, we hope that this update has helped to alleviate some of the fears our clients may have around booking in for a massage with us. In these stressful times, a massage can do the world of good – reducing anxiety, facilitating better sleep, reducing the muscular discomfort which accompanies stress, and helping to improve immune system function, all of which can play a supportive role in fighting off illness and maintaining good health.
We’re always on hand by email or phone to answer any questions you might have about our handling of this situation or about anything else, and hope to see you soon!