spas will be less busy (hurray) as they keep numbers down
they might look a little sparse as cushions and blankets and magazines have been removed
you will have to wear a mask and adhere to social-distancing rules
you might want to book ASAP.
Otherwise, the headlines for your post-April 12 spa visit are:
You can only spa with members of your household – so hold off the planned spa day with your friends just yet. On May 17, all being well, you can meet in a group of up to 6 people or 1 other household.
You can’t stay over – hotels will re-open May 17th, so book a morning or afternoon slot at a spa near you. See our spa directory for more on your local spa’s new measures and guidelines.
Unless you book self-catering – lots of hotel spas have this. Chewton Glen in the New Forest is hiring out its treehouses. Lympstone Manor in Devon has Shepherd’s Huts. South Lodge in West Sussex (hydrotherapy pool pictured below) has The Bothy Cottage. The Coniston Estate with its newly revamped Nàdarra Spa in Yorkshire also has two private cottages, The Fogga and Thack, available from April 12. There are some more ideas in our article Good Escapes: Spa-cations far from the madding crowd.
You can swim – outdoor pools will open on the 29th, and indoor pools on the 12th. There is so little evidence that coronavirus can be passed in water. Also, as the World Health Organisation points out, a certain amount of chlorine and disinfection with UV light deactivates the Covd-19 virus. If the air is circulated, the pool area regularly cleaned, and people keep a safe distance you can relax and go full mermaid.
… and use the gym. Indoor gyms can reopen from 12th April.
You can also use hydrotherapy pools, Jacuzzis and hot tubs – the water is regularly filtered and cleaned between use. If the pool is small, wait until it’s just you and your bubble partner using it.
But not sauna or steam rooms – thermal facilities are set to re-open on May 17th, so if you love your heat experiences, it might be wise to wait a few more weeks.
You can have close-contact treatments such as manicures, massages and facials – as long as the therapist is wearing PPE (visors and masks) or using Perspex screens where necessary. Be aware that spas will adapt their menus to make sure the treatments they are offering are safe, within guidelines and extra sanitation measures will be enforced.
You can also have holistic therapies – including acupuncture, homeopathy, and reflexology.
You may even be able to have an alfresco spa lunch – Hoar Cross Hall offers a Serene Spa Day package (from £149) including a leisurely two course lunch and a tension relieving back and face treatment. Cottonmill Spa offers breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea outside. The Lanesborough in London is opening its Garden Room which is a covered and heated outdoor terrace. Rudding Park is opening its Clockhouse Terrace.
Finally, you won’t need to worry – from our experience, spas are very good at letting you know exactly what they are doing to keep you safe and making sure you know what to expect. It also helps that we have been here before and are more used to masks, sanitisers and social distancing protocols.
With lower numbers, even more attentive and supportive staff, and after such a long wait, you may well find your step two spa experience even more serene than usual.