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Important update on tier system and lockdowns

Message from the MTI Board - Please read all relevant sections

Dear Members,

We appreciate these are hugely challenging times both professionally and personally, so we hope you are looking after yourself. Although we are working to keep members working where possible, this also has to be balanced with keeping you and the public safe, helping to control the pandemic and protecting the NHS from being overwhelmed. In our work we must act responsibly at all times and reduce the transmission of this virus.

Please note the NATIONAL guidance may change from time to time and more information about the spread of the variant becomes available. We will monitor this but ask that you too check government websites. Much of the guidance below is aligned with the CNHC guidance issued to registrants a few days ago.

Many of you are asking for advice regarding working conditions and so the following information is based on best available guidelines (23/12/21). Unfortunately, the MTI does not have access to any other guidelines than those published by each country’s government at the time they become public to everyone. As and when new information comes out, we will update you and we continue to work in the background to try and influence positive changes for us.

As always, we advise you to carry out risk assessments, continue to document all actions, wear full PPE, ventilate and ensure highest hygiene and cleaning procedures are in place.

ENGLAND

Although there are circumstances (see below), when travelling between tiers is acceptable, we highly recommend this is kept to a minimum.

Tier 1 – 3 guidance

All therapists can continue to work in these tiers providing there is compliance with the advice mentioned above.

Tier 4 guidance

The current guidance implies that MTI practitioners can continue to work but the reasons for working must be related to an essential medical issue. With this in mind, a virtual consultation must take place first to clinically reason the need and this must be documented.

Clients living in Tier 4 can leave their home (and go into another tier) for medical reasons, so if the virtual consultation indicates a need, you may treat them.

MOBILE THERAPISTS LIVING IN ANY TIER CAN CONTINUE TO WORK, UNDER THE CONDITIONS MENTIONED ABOVE.
‘WORK AND VOLUNTEERING - YOU CAN LEAVE HOME FOR WORK PURPOSES, WHERE YOUR PLACE OF WORK REMAINS OPEN AND WHERE YOU CANNOT WORK FROM HOME (INCLUDING IF YOUR JOB INVOLVES WORKING IN OTHER PEOPLE’S HOMES).’

Government Tier 4 guidelines published 19/12/20

Guidelines can be found here

SCOTLAND

All of Scotland enter level 4 restrictions from 26 December 2020, which will remain in place for at least 3 weeks. The only exceptions will be Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, and the other island communities where restrictions have been reduced in recent weeks, who will be placed in Level 3.

Unfortunately, this means that all massage therapy must stop.

Guidelines can be found here

WALES

Wales will enter a National Lockdown, alert level 4, with similar guidelines to the previous firebreak. This took effect from 20 December 2020 (with relaxation of the rules for Christmas day only).

However, the guidelines state that professional medical services are exempt from closure, which means as with England guidance above the decision to treat must be on medical needs. With this in mind, a virtual consultation must take place first to clinically reason the need and this must be documented.

If a sports massage therapist or sports therapist works within a multidisciplinary clinic with statutory regulated health professionals (osteopaths, doctors, nurses) they may also continue to work.

Guidelines can be found here

NORTHERN IRELAND

From 26 November 2020 there is a 6-week lockdown in place in Northern Ireland. However, sports massage and sports therapists will be able to remain working whilst following all the procedures mentioned in the Resource Pack as mentioned above.

Guidelines can be found here

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