Covid 19 Code of Practice
Version 1: 7th December 2021.
Next version: 7th March 2022 or when government advice changes
Note for this code of practice:
The MTI board acknowledges that reducing the spread of Covid-19 is a whole process of conducting a risk assessment and reaching an informed clinical judgement on what would be appropriate in each case.
In this Code of Practice, we are focusing on:
- Following government guidelines
- MTI ethos of empowering members to make decisions about how to treat clients in the context of Covid 19.
- Conducting a thorough risk assessment & tailoring each treatment accordingly
The following are the government guidelines (in England) for close contact businesses. This is given to demonstrate some of the common guidelines. See the full guidelines in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland:
- Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
- Ensure frequent cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures
- Face mask to be worn by you and your client, unless they are exempt
- Keep social distancing
- Increase ventilation
- Display the NHS QR code, but its use is voluntary.
- Keep track of your clients’ attendance for at least 21 days. (appointment diary is fine)
- Turn away anyone with Covid-19 symptoms
MTI Good practice
The following is the MTI expectation from practitioners:
- A written risk assessment. While this is not mandatory by the government for sole traders, MTI recommends doing this in writing as it will help you to identify areas where potential risks can be minimised.
- Pre-screening to be carried out before meeting with each client. This can be done via phone, email, online form or face to face using social distance. In this context, Covid symptom questions are required to be answered by the client. Vaccination status is optional.
- PPE kit: have the full kit available in your clinic so you can use it if needed. E.g if government advice changes, increase infection rate in your local area, or if a client asks you to do so. The current thinking is that PPE over and above government guidelines in a non-clinical setting is not deemed to reduce the risk of infection.
- Consider breathing direction between you and the client
- For the higher-risk clients, consider, for example, shorter treatment, longer ventilation time, seeing vulnerable clients for the first session of the day, avoiding working on neck/head/shoulder in the supine position and other adjustments.
- Keep an eye on the guidelines applying to your area from your local public health department for a complete picture and regularly check for updates.
- Based on the information provided by the client, it is your decision to treat or to refer another therapist (for practitioners protection).
More ways to mitigate Covid 19
This advice should be considered by practitioners for risk mitigation measures based on the pre-screening.
- PPE: consider using extra PPE (gloves, visor and aprons) if indicated by your risk assessment or requested by the client.
- Lateral Flow test. Current government advice is to take the test twice a week. Consider you and your client to take the test before each meeting. Order online
- Measuring temperature on arrival.
- Massage to the head, face, neck, scalp and shoulders should be done carefully while considering air direction between participants. Consider when to avoid massaging these areas. Some options include turning the head to one side if a client is supine, placing clients in the side-lying or prone position, or any other position to reduce a direct airway to/from a client. Bear in mind that the client is still wearing a mask in this close contact scenario, it does not mean they can take off their mask (unless exempt).
- It is advised to let your client know about the steps you are taking to mitigate Covid 19. This could be done via your website or an email
he main changes from Gov Wales with the update is to remove the legislative requirements and provide guidelines.
Whereas previously there had been specific instructions for Sports Massage, Acupuncture and Sports Therapy there is just a general update covering Close Contact Services
Based on best practice, the GCMT advise the following:
- Continue to review and when necessary update your risk assessment.
- Ensure that you maintain a good level of ventilation by:-
- Enhancing airflow by opening windows and propping open internal doors (but not fire doors) where possible.
- If there is a lack of natural ventilation, ensuring mechanical ventilation systems provide 100% fresh air and do not recirculate air from one space to another.
- Making sure mechanical ventilation systems are effectively maintained and have been serviced.
- For further information refer here.
- Continue with the Covid-19 screening as per previous GCMT guidelines.
- If you are a mobile therapist then you still need to make sure that you have a risk assessment. Where possible make sure your client is ventilating the room that will be used and use your own towels and linens.
- Continue to display posters covering the use of good hygiene protocols and ensure that you have wipes/hand sanitiser as needed.
- PPE – In an indoor setting face coverings/masks should be worn by clients and by therapists. It is advisable that a therapist should continue with Type IIR Face Masks, visors, aprons and gloves. Visors and aprons should be cleaned between appointments if reusable or discarded.
- It is recommended that treatments should only be provided on an appointment basis.
- Retain client details in the event of contact from test and trace and the practitioner (Multi-Therapist Clinics).
- Cleaning - Ensure that all areas which the client has been in contact with is cleaned between appointments with an appropriate wipe/cleaning material. If you are using a chemical cleaner then make sure you have read the Safety Data Sheet for any restrictions or recommendations of use.
- Consider using lateral flow testing x2 per week and record results for insurance.
- Consider downloading the Covid-19 check-in app with QR code.
GCMT is not recommending any change to its guidelines for therapist working practices at present.
This is because Covid cases are currently rising and are likely to continue to rise when lockdown is lifted next week. This statement has all the details.
Note: this is for English therapists only, Scotland and Wales are developing their own guidelines which will be published shortly.
GCMT is meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) to discuss the new guidelines post 19 July, when the legal restrictions on social distancing end in England.
Scotland is reducing restrictions on 19 July, with all limits due to end on 9 August, and we are waiting on a review in Wales, to be published on 14 July.
When the GCMT guidelines can be published depends on when the new government rules for close contact working are issued.
Because of that, it may be after the 19th before the guidelines are ready. MTI members are advised to continue with the existing procedures until the new ones are ready.
Our NHS Staff Support Scheme is now available
Members and Schools have been provided with a pack of resources to help them raise funds in their local area and provide discount massage for NHS staff. This is our way of giving a little back to NHS staff for their dedication throughout the pandemic.
It's not only about discounted sessions - we've also provided a digital wellbeing booklet and webpage with instructional videos. Having a massage is great, but the little things we do everyday make such a difference, and these resources provide a wealth of short exercises to help ease physical and mental tensions on a daily basis. Your MTI therapist can provide tailored advice and support.
For MTI Members