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On June 10, barbershops, salons, and other personal grooming businesses reopened their doors to the public. The exception were spa operators and massage parlors, who were not allowed to reopen their business during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).
In a joint statement by Association of Malaysian Spas (AMSPA) and Malaysian Association of Wellness & Spa (MAWSPA), they pointed out that the industry as a whole already practices strict hygiene standards and are not unfamiliar with wearing masks and gloves- even before Covid-19.
Despite the industry’s culture of standard operating procedure (SOP) adherence and emphasis on personal hygiene, they are not allowed to resume business. Instead, they addressed the fact that genuine spas and reflexology centres were left out to struggle further while barbers and hairdressers had the chance to resume their business with new SOPs.
The organisations also stated that it has been a long and arduous journey for the industry to be recognised as a contributor to the public’s health and wellness.
Both AMSPA and MAWSPA are recognised not only in Malaysia, but also in the region for the standards they instill and demand from their members. Thus, they argue that the government should not deny them from reopening their businesses over unfounded fears of the industry not following SOPs.
The two organisations, joining together to form a Covid-19 Special Task Force even came out with a very comprehensive SOP manual for the benefit of their members, tailored to have the highest level of safety and hygiene management that is so crucial as a preventive measure.
The task force has submitted the SOPs to the Ministry of Health, Ministry of International Trade and Industries, and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
We dare say it is one of the most comprehensive SOPs produced by an industry to combat the risk of contracting Covid-19.MAWSPA-AMSPA Covid-19 Special Task Force
The taskforce has also taken it upon themselves to hold training sessions on the SOPs for their members to ensure they know and follow the appropriate guidelines.
They say that despite all their efforts in coming up with the ‘Safe to Spa Campaign’ to self-regulate their members and help the spa-going community recognize that the industry has done its best to provide safe services, they are still waiting for the green light from the relevant authorities.
According to them, clients have been calling to resume spa and massage services, while spa operators struggle on the brink of closure after so many months of zero incomes, leaving them unable to pay salaries and overhead commitments.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.