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Protocol for health standards in massage therapy

The Réseau collaborated with other massage therapy associations under the direction of Soins personnels Québec to create a protocol for health standards in massage therapy to support its members in the resumption of their activities. This protocol was developed to guide massage therapists in the best way possible in their return-to-work process and was drafted according to guidelines issued by the Institut National de Santé publique du Québec and the CNESST.

Please note that this protocol is based on the information available at the time of writing the recommendations. As the situation and knowledge about SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is changing rapidly, the recommendations in this document are subject to change.

You can view and download the protocol in PDF format.

Last update : August 3, 2020

Protocol for health standards

Massage at home

If you need to travel to your clients’ homes to perform your treatment, here are our recommendations:

  • Inform yourself when you make your appointment and just before the massage with your client that no probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 is present in the house:
    • No symptoms related to COVID-19 (fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, unexplained muscle pain, breathing difficulties, flu-like symptoms, loss of sense of smell, diarrhea);
    • No travel outside the country in the last 14 days;
    • No persons awaiting a test result for COVID-19 or who have not received a positive test result in the last 14 days;
    • No contact with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • Make sure you have a 60%+ hydroalcoholic solution, Health Canada approved cleaning wipes or disinfectant products and the necessary personal protective equipment for your care.
  • Stay at a distance of 2 meters from any other person except the client during the massage.
  • Avoid touching furniture, switches, door handles, etc. if possible.
  • Please follow the protocol for massage therapy health standards.

Chair or table massage in company

If you perform chair or table massages in your company, here are our recommendations:

  • Make sure the company has preventive measures in place to reduce the spread of the virus;
  • Inform yourself when making an appointment and just before the massage that the workers who will receive a massage:
    • Have no symptoms related to COVID-19 (fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, unexplained muscle pain, breathing difficulties, flu-like symptoms, loss of sense of smell, diarrhea);
    • Have not travelled outside the country in the last 14 days;
    • Are not awaiting a test result for COVID-19 or have not received a positive test result in the past 14 days;
    • Have not been in contact with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • Make sure you have a 60%+ hydroalcoholic solution, Health Canada approved cleaning wipes or disinfectant products and the necessary personal protective equipment for your care.
  • Stay at a distance of 2 meters from any other person except the client during the massage.
  • Avoid touching furniture, switches, door handles, etc. if possible.
  • Please follow the massage therapy health standards protocol.

Mandatory mask in enclosed public places

Following the announcement that wearing masks in enclosed public spaces is mandatory, the Réseau received several questions from members. The Réseau has therefore contacted public health officials to clarify the new directive for massage therapists.

We finally received a response from Public Health. The government decree applies to any clientele present in “any place that welcomes the public,” including private professional offices in a private residence. This means that your clients must wear the mask or face covering when they show up for their appointment.

In addition, Public Health has informed us that clients must wear the mask or face covering at all times, except for the duration of massages that require it. This represents a significant change for those who had decided to make it optional for their clients to wear the mask or face covering following the announcement of changes to the INSPQ interim recommendations. The government decree, as long as it is in force, prevails over interim recommendations.

When can my clients remove their mask or face covering?

The Public Health Department of the Ministry of Health and Social Services confirmed that the mask could be removed for the duration of the massage that required it. The mask or face covering can be removed when:

  • you massage the face;
  • the client is lying on his stomach.

We encourage you to continue to exercise your professional judgment to determine if the mask or face covering needs to be removed during certain maneuvers.

Who can be exempt from wearing the mask or face covering?

Some people are not required to wear the mask or face covering, such as:

  • « children under the age of 12. However, wearing a mask or face covering is recommended for children between 2 and 11 years of age. It is not recommended for those under age 2;
  • people whose particular medical condition prevents them from wearing a mask or face covering:
    • people who are unable to put it on or take it off by themselves due to a physical disability,
    • people with facial deformities,
    • peoples who, due to cognitive impairment, an intellectual disability, an autism spectrum disorder, an addiction problem or a severe mental health problem, are unable to understand the requirement or for whom wearing a mask or face covering causes significant disorganization or distress,
    • people who have a severe skin condition on the face or ears that is significantly aggravated by wearing a mask or face covering. »*

« In addition, people with a chronic condition, including cardiovascular diseases and lung diseases, are not exempted from wearing a mask or face covering. Whenever possible, they should use a procedure mask, since it offers better protection against the virus. »*

To read the full information regarding the wearing of masks or face coverings required in enclosed public places, we invite you to visit the website of the government of Quebec.

*Source: Wearing a mask or a face covering in public settings in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, government’s website