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LOOK: Abu Dhabi issues guidelines for Spa reopenings

Residents in Abu Dhabi seeking relaxing spa treatments can now enjoy a visit to their spa of choice after authorities have announced the official reopening of selected spa centers in the emirate.

The Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi (DCT-Abu Dhabi), in its Circular no 69 released as of September 15, has allowed the reopening of all Spa centers within the emirate’s 5-star hotel establishments, provided that these centers comply with the country’s preventive measures.

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“The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) is announcing that all 5-star hotel establishments in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi will be allowed to reopen their Spa centers starting from 15 September 2020 on the condition hotels comply with the precautionary and preventive measures,” said the circular.

Officials state that the move aims to augment the country’s efforts to sustain and support the tourism industry and national economic development, taking into consideration the importance of community and public health.

Dubai earlier announced spa reopenings in select hotels as of July 5.

Here are the guidelines for spa reopenings in 5-star hotel establishments in Abu Dhabi:

Spa staff:

– All staff and therapists should undergo COVID-19 testing prior to reopening, and all staff to have a COVID-19 test on a bi-weekly basis.
– All staff and therapists shall resume working after receiving the COVID-19 results as negative.
– Facility must have thermal cameras installed or handheld Infrared thermometers provided at the main entrances to ensure each person is going through the mandated thermal screening, noting entry shall be denied to those of high temperature. This includes staff members, guests, and contractors.
– Dedicate a mandatory isolation room to isolate suspected cases and ensure a medical team is available on standby throughout operating hours.
– Every guest that has a body temperature of 37.3 Degrees Celsius or higher is to be escorted to a designated isolation room in close proximity to the main entrance and the “Estijaba”
service at the Department of Health operation center (on 800 1717) must be alerted in line with local COVID-19 rules and regulations. Alternatively, the suspected case should be directed to the nearest health care provider for evaluation. If the individual wants to leave the hotel immediately this will be allowed, but the hotel should try to obtain ID and contact details.
– Guests, staff members or contractors showing flu-like symptoms are to be denied access to the hotel establishment premises. With respect to in-house guests showing symptoms, they should not be allowed out of the room until medical checks have been cleared.
– Report any guest, staff member or contractor who display flu-like symptoms to the “Estijaba” service at the Department of Health operation centre on 800 1717.
– All guests and staff members are required to wear masks at all times. Non-compliance by guests will lead to refusal of entry to the facilities.
– Staff members are required to wear plastic face shields over masks and gloves whilst performing required treatments.

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Disinfection guidelines:

– All common surfaces, areas/high touch points must be properly cleaned and disinfected using the products and methods recommended by the Department of Health Abu Dhabi.
– Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection during the re-opening phase after every use.
– Ensure cleaning and disinfection for all facilities after daily duty timings.
– The service room equipment such as stones, wheel roller massage stick, etc must be cleaned
and disinfected after each use.
– Face cradle must be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
– Blankets, pillows, towels, and bedsheets must be changed after every use and should be
cleaned and disinfected on daily basis.
– Bed covers must be of disposable nature and changed after every use.
– Specific disposal bins to be made available at all key entrances and in common areas for
medical waste (masks, gloves etc.) and these should be frequently cleared.
– Hand sanitizer dispensers must be provided in common areas and around the facility.
– Bottles for skincare products must be cleaned and disinfected after each treatment.
– Only disposable sticks to be used for applying treatment materials.
– Proper air ventilation to be maintained according to the regulatory requirements and all Air Conditioning filters must be cleaned frequently.
– Therapists must follow a strict handwashing regime before and after each treatment.
– Daily misting of disinfection solution must be performed in all the operational areas.
– Treatments must be arranged strictly by appointments. Appointments to be scheduled in a way to ensure sufficient time for cleaning and disinfection after each service.

Social Distancing guidelines:

– Only the client receiving the treatment can enter the facility, and they should arrive as close to their appointment time as possible.
– Changing rooms, lockers, and shower facilities are permitted on the condition that cleaning and disinfection are performed after every use and physical distancing must be maintained at all times. If the hotel unable to maintain the strict cleaning, disinfection regimes, and physical distancing rules then these facilities must be closed.
– Avoid crowding in changing and shower facilities.
– Shared amenity kits in the changing area must be removed and only provided to clients upon request.
– Ensure the 2 meter distancing measure is maintained throughout the facility except when the service is being offered.
– Seating must be positioned as to respect the 2-meter distance rule in all areas of the facility.
– Physical distancing markings of 2 meters should be clearly defined on the floors for all queues including restrooms, receptions, and waiting areas, etc.
– Ensure guest washes their hands or use hand sanitizers upon arrival and after treatments.
– Encourage guests to use “smart” payments as a preferred method to reduce contacts and contamination while cash payments are still valid and not to be rejected. Ensure the installation of hand sanitizers at payment counters.
– Smart payment machines are to be sanitized before and after being presented to any guest.
– Display posters for preventive measures, good personal hygiene, physical distancing, and precautions to be taken by staff and visitors at the entrances and around the facility.
– Newspaper, magazines, water dispensers, product samples or testers, and re-useable refreshing hand towels must be removed

Staff Report

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