This advice is for Scottish therapists only.
As per the latest Government Guidelines, the formal and legally required restrictions were removed from 9th August 2021 and the onus is now upon personal responsibility for ongoing protection – we strongly recommend you read this document yourself to make sure you are familiar with its contents.
As a therapist you have a professional duty of care and it is mandatory for you to treat your patients/clients, safely, effectively and professionally, which is legislated in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Therapists have a legal and moral duty to ‘protect the public’ in the most practical and professional way possible; this includes all self-employed and employed therapists. Failure to comply can result in prosecution and/or invalid insurance.
Given that we know there could be an increase in cases as restrictions are removed and to comply with the above legislation, GCMT consider that best practice to be the continuation of PPE, maintaining ventilation and continued high levels and frequency of cleaning/hygiene protocols. Along with previous information in the Risk Assessment document given by GCMT, the Scottish Guidelines advise:
- Face-coverings remain by law for most indoor settings which include CAM, Beauty, Hair, Spa and all massage treatments. This means that both therapists and their clients must wear a face-covering for the duration of all treatments (medical exemptions apply). This also applies in all training, supervision and exam settings for the close contact services.
- When any nose and mouth treatment requires the client to remove their face-covering, the therapist should wear a type IIR mask and eye protection (goggles or visor). Clients should replace their face-covering immediately afterwards.
- Risk assessments must continue to be used for all treatment settings where ventilation and hygiene remain the most important mitigation in the hierarchy of control measures.
- Self-isolation will no longer be necessary if therapists are identified as a close contact as long as they receive a negative PCR test and have been double vaccinated for at least two weeks. You should however self-isolate until a negative test has been received.
- Covid screening prior to treatment should continue and asks if the client has any Covid-19 symptoms or should be isolating for any reason. Covid-19 screening can be done prior to treatment face to face with social distancing.
- From 9th August there will be no legal requirement for social distancing, however the Scottish Government recommends that, where possible, social distancing measures remain in place, to reduce viral transmission.
Although it is not a legal requirement, it is suggested that close contact services still display a QR code poster. You should also continue pre-screening for Covid related symptoms and not treat if the client has any symptoms, however mild. You are also encouraged to use contactless methods of payment.
Remember that you can access free lateral flow tests which it is advised you carry out twice a week which will provide reassurance for your clients that you are working safely.
We would suggest that it is appropriate for you as therapists to continue to individually risk assess each situation/patient/circumstance and react accordingly, with at all times the overall care and safety of your patients and yourself in the forefront of your decision making.
As ever comprehensive notes are essential to provide evidence of continued best practice and decision making in all cases should the need arise to validate same.
It is worthy to note that none of the medical or paramedical professional services are sanctioning or suggesting any removal or reduction in present Covid security measures.
GCMT are fully satisfied that you will continue to act appropriately and professionally as you have done thus far and continue to provide your services to your patients in a safe, effective and clinical manner.