The Quebec Spa Association says industry has "more benefits than risks for the public."
Although Quebec's COVID-19 rules will be loosening up soon with the re-opening of many establishments, spas across the province remain partially shut down. The Quebec Spa Association (QSA) is decrying the "incoherence" of Quebec's decision to keep baths and saunas closed, despite giving the green light for concert venues, cinemas, and arenas to open.
In a press release issued on January 25, the QSA said it finds it "inconceivable" that spas would be left out of the first two phases of Quebec's re-opening when it is an "industry that has more benefits than risks for the public."
Prior to the fifth wave and current lockdown, spas were already operating at 50% capacity, said Geneviève Émond of Bota Bota in Montreal. Émond said that at the time they were welcoming guests in numbers "much less than 500 people."
Massage therapy remains available throughout the province. However, bath and sauna services have been completely left out of the re-opening, though they are "often prescribed by health specialists as complementary or preventive care," observed Jocelyna Dubuc of Spas Eastman.The continued closure of baths and saunas has caused significant financial losses for spa owners, said the Quebec Spa Association — owners who have already "invested hundreds of thousands of dollars," all while implementing sanitary measures that have been approved by the INSPQ and the CNESST, the QSA stated.
In the QSA statement, the association's president and CEO, Véronyque Tremblay, expressed frustration with the government's choices.
"It is clear that the Premier of Quebec and the Minister of Health do not understand how our industry works. I'll make them an offer: come and visit our spas and you will see your decision makes no sense," said Tremblay.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.