After more than a year of practically doing everything from home, it’s no surprise that wellness and well-being are two of the most popular search terms. And just like your local supermarket, spas across the country are stringently following hygiene guidelines to ensure guests are kept safe. Despite new innovations and new rules across the industry, one thing remains constant: the need to relax and unwind.
So how do you kick back and enjoy your spa experience during the current lockdown level in South Africa? Here are a few tips from the experts, Melissa Askon at Amani Spa & Wellness, Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront and Peta Angela Carrera at The View Spa, Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton.
Come ready to be pampered and spoilt
We may still be in the midst of a pandemic but that’s no excuse not to unwind. In fact, booking yourself a spa day or a treatment may be the best thing you can do for your body and mind during what’s already an incredibly stressful time. If the spa allows it, arrive early so you can enjoy the facilities such as the steam room and sauna, as well as go through all the health and safety checks. In addition to the usual forms requesting information about allergies, you’ll also be asked to complete a COVID-19 questionnaire, do a temperature check and sanitise.
Expect a more distant experience
While spas are all about the human touch, you’ll still be expected to adhere to COVID-19 rules such as keeping 1.5 to 2 metres away from other guests and wearing a mask in certain areas. This may not be practical for private consultations and certain treatments but rest assured that your therapist will be washing their hands regularly throughout the treatment, wearing a mask and, in some instances, gloves and a visor. Treatment rooms will also be cleaned in-between each session with linens being replaced after each guest and if the spa has a restaurant, it may be closed or have allocated times and tables. The View Spa offers light snacks and drinks during your treatment so there’s no need to fraternise with other guests.
Your favourite treatment may be a little different
Some spas may have edited their offerings to align with COVID-19 regulations but hands-on therapies are still available. You may be asked to shower before you arrive and certain treatments, such as facials, may be subject to adaptations. That said, minimal-touch therapies such as reflexology and shiatsu will be more prominent. Amani Spa & Wellness’s signature Jewel of Africa Journey massage uses ancient African Rungu Warrior sticks to deliver long, deep-pressure strokes that help facilitate deep-tissue manipulation to promote pain reduction and improved blood and lymph circulation.
But you can still take a timeout in the pool or sauna
With research suggesting that the coronavirus can’t survive in chlorine- or ozone-treated water, you’ll be pleased to know that you can take a dip in the spa pool while the high temperatures of saunas and steam rooms also make it difficult for the virus to survive. Keep in mind that some spas may only offer timed slots for the use of these facilities so always check beforehand.