October 2020: Can I Work?

19 Oct 2020 13:00 | SMA Member Administration (Administrator)


We recommend that you double-check you are following the protocols on client screening, PPE, infection control and compliance with Track and Trace.  We further recommend that you include within your client notes justification for treatment (i.e. why it was necessary), in addition to the following:

  • that the patient has consented to treatment
  • that the patient has been Covid screened
  • that the patient is wearing an IIR mask and the therapist is in full PPE
  • that the patient's temperature has been taken (and what it was)
  • that justification for treatment has been completed

These can be completed quickly using the following format:

F2F Consent  ✅ Screened ✅ Pt IIR  ✅ Me Full PPE   Temp Check  

You are not obliged to continue working if you feel uncomfortable in the light of rising infection rates.

There is no indication that mobile therapists, or those who work from a Covid-secure area within their own homes are obliged to stop work.  Current guidance on household mixing applies to social gatherings and not work situations.  If anything changes, or we are given more specific advice then we will update guidance here.  Please click on the relevant country name for link to the government advice on local restrictions.


We are recommending that therapists continue to work.  In the absence of specific advice pertaining to soft tissue therapy, we are self-classifying under 'Healthcare Services'.  This applies across ALL TIERS.  

Northern Ireland

The latest announcement from the Northern Ireland Executive (15/10/20) has unfortunately now specifically mentioned sports and massage therapists are unable to work. This includes mobile and home based therapist and also schools teaching these qualifications. The restrictions come into place on 16th October at 6 pm for 4 weeks.



There is no change to the current guidance on work, we will update this area as and when any changes are made.


Therapists are currently allowed to continue working up until 18:00 on Friday, 23rd October, after which a 16-day Circuit Breaker lockdown comes into effect.  Close Contact services must unfortunately cease trading during this time and can resume after 00:01 on Monday 9th November as things currently stand.

however there is the following exemption for therapists:  

"Treatments or services which are providing medical treatments for illness or injury.  These would include therapists who are working alongside or in conjunction with a statutory regulated health professional - for example, a sports therapist based in a clinic owned by an osteopath, or working alongside doctors or nurses in a hospital or hospice to help support patients receiving medical treatment. Services that provide non-cosmetic laser / IPL medical treatment for illness or injury would also be permitted."



*Please note: we can only offer guidance to therapists registered as members of The SMA.  If you are a member of a different Professional Association you must refer to their guidance on working as it has implications for your insurance cover.  If you would like to join the SMA, please e-mail membership@thesma.org with details of your main qualification in Soft Tissue Therapy and we will advise on eligibility.  Existing members are more than welcome to e-mail us with any questions on this guidance or other issues.

get SOCIAL !