Allow spa and leisure facilities to demonstrate that they can reopen safely.
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We firmly believe that the spa and leisure industry should be offered the opportunity to showcase safety measures to the task force responsible for informing the Government.
The Government should consider following the approach taken by other countries and allow select facilities to open to facilitate a meaningful study of the risks and safety measures required.
We feel very frustrated by the blanket approach applied to our sector of the hospitality industry which does not allow the spa and leisure industry which has a very diverse range of facilities to demonstrate their ability to provide a safe environment.
Even before lockdown was imposed the leisure industry introduced significant measures to ensure that facilities could offer a COVID safe environment for customers and staff. On anticipation of a 4th July reopening additional investments and measures were implemented
Large facilities with best practice measures in place should have the opportunity to demonstrate compliance and put themselves forward as ambassadors for the industry.
Why we believe the Government should work with us
The prolonged closure of the spa and leisure industry will have both economic and social implications.
Prior to lockdown, the spa industry was booming, with customers prepared to prioritise time and money for improving their physical and mental health. Our own spa business had a turnover in excess of £20 million. Prolonged closure of the spa and leisure industry increases the risk of closure of facilities and significant loss of employment, our spa employs 480 people from the local area.
The spa sector was growing and investment in enterprise projects which would have helped support the economy as we emerge from this crisis. Unfortunately many spa and leisure facilities are now depleting their cash reserves just to stay in business. Our spa was on the verge of a huge investment project to build a hotel which would have brought enterprise and jobs to the local area.
The loss of spa and leisure facilities is detrimental to the health and wellbeing of the nation. Many of these are outlined in Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson’s letter to the Prime Minster dated 24th June 2020. Whilst the Government states that people are able to enjoy outdoor exercise this does not account for the requirements of customers needing to access pools, specialist equipment and expert advice to support their wellness journey. Our Floatation pools for example, are used by numerous local groups to help manage conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis and to rehabilitate after operations. Our wellness and relaxation facilities also offer a haven to those struggling with mental health issues.
The spa and leisure industry takes the safety of customers and staff seriously. Even before lockdown, significant measures were put in place and in anticipation of a July 4th reopening additional investments were made. Our own facilities are spread over 200,000 square feet, so by reducing occupancy and creating a one way system throughout the business we can ensure that social distancing at 2m plus is straightforward for our customers. We have made changes to our reception areas and our booking and check in / check out procedures which will allow full track and trace capability. We have devised a check in procedure to ensure that customers can change alone in designated areas which will be cleaned between users and we will require customers to wear appropriate footwear in shower areas. It is essential to understand that for facilities such as ours, the ability to change on site is a fundamental requirement for our business to operate. Our pool disinfection systems and air handling systems employ world leading technology. We have invested in new equipment to deliver enhanced protection anti-viral products. Our housekeeping team will follow new, safe cleaning and sanitation processes across all areas. In addition we have increased availability of disinfectant cleaning products and hand sanitation stations across the business. Staff have received enhanced COVID-19 training, they are all on board and understand what is required of them to safely run our spa and fitness facilities. In addition our managers have received COVID-19 first aid training. All staff will all be provided with appropriate PPE.
Spa and leisure facilities must understand what is required to reopen their industry,
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