The Irish Spa Association is confident that if Irish spas and salons follow strict protocols and guidelines their reopening should be a consideration for June.
The not for profit organisation has launched a free Blueprint for Salons and Spas – best practice for beauty businesses to ensure they’re ready to open, including advice on PPE and other safeguards.
Not only have customers been unable to access spa and salon services, resulting in many people adopting at-home methods, there has also been a rise in the unscrupulous black market. The closures have additionally put many professionals out of work with the likelihood of many of these salons and spas being unable to re-open.
The Irish Spa Association has been inundated with outreach from anxious Irish salon and spa owners calling for businesses to re-open. Overheads are continuing to stack up and a dangerous black market is continuing to grow – for example, professionals in the beauty industry are worried about treatments such as botox, fillers and microneedling being carried out in people’s homes.
“We are aware of some beauty therapists and aesthetic clinics presently seeing patients and injecting botox for their patients. However, most reputable doctors and beauty therapists are waiting for clear guidance from the government on when they can reopen their doors to clients wanting to resume their beauty treatments and facial injections,” Dr Patrick Treacy CMO Irish Spa Association and Medical Director Ailesbury clinics.“We are following the government’s advice and when we do open, we will be taking a staged approach, limiting patients, practitioners and the number of treatments available,” he added.
The Irish Spa Association has published a business continuity plan with industry guidelines for Irish Spas and Salons to recalibrate and restart their businesses ‘The Blueprint’ successfully addresses a great deal of industry specific concerns including HR, Risk assessment, new SOPs and communications.
The Irish Spa Association has drawn on expert knowledge from international authorities, leaders and government agencies to create a reactivation plan for the sector. While any re-opening will be contingent on evolving public health advice the ISA is committed to supporting the 25,800 people employed within their remit (CSO, labour market figures Q4 2019).
An additional certification with the Irish Spa Association launches this week, which requires businesses to complete a checklist and successfully fulfill an assessment based on the ISA guidelines for best practise. “It will be in each and every salon and spa business’s best interest to ensure they are ready to re-open with the right procedures in place,” says ISA Co-Founder Anita Murray. “The clients will complete an advanced consultation form before they attend the salon/spa. Where social distancing is not possible, we propose that PPE should be worn by therapists including masks, visors and additionally safety screens will be in place on nail stations and at stylist service areas.”
There are an estimated 4,000 Spas and Beauty Salons in Ireland – contributing to a sector that generates €540 million P/A to the Irish economy. The Beauty, Spa and Wellness sector also greatly contributes to Irish Tourism every year via our much sought after luxury destination spas and wellness destinations.
Peigin Crowley, ISA Co-Founder stressed that: “This is by no means any suggestion of a return to business as usual. It is vital that the public and the businesses follow precautionary and preventative guidelines until the situation has completely normalised.”
The association has written and had meetings with Minister Heather Humphreys and has called for a number of supports:
- Provision of financial support to enable the sourcing of PPE and also to make whatever other material changes may be needed within the businesses
- Direct the Revenue Commissioners to introduce a moratorium on VAT payments; Introducing a reduction of the VAT rate from 13.5% to 9% for services to support the recovery thereafter
- Direct the Department of Social Protection to halve the rate of Employer PRSI contributions;
- Support an interest-free holiday freeze on all loan repayments for those whose earnings have stalled;
- Suspension of commercial mortgages, rents and rates to ensure liquidity for businesses.
- Assurance that government will continue to support the COVID-19 wage subsidy scheme until the business is able to operate in a feasible and sustainable manner
- Funded grants to ensure liquidity of companies.