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Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Update for UK Practitioners

Posted by Lauren at 18:46 on 17 May 2020

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Firstly, the International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA) would like to express their sincere understanding for the huge level of concern regarding the Coronavirus (COVID 19). Please be assured that we will do as much as possible to support our members at this time. As guidance is changing on a daily basis we will be updating this page on a regular basis so please check it periodically.

Returning to work status

As you will be aware, the UK Government has recently updated its directions regarding Covid-19 and produced a recovery strategy for England, called Our Plan to Rebuild.  However, it would appear that anyone conducting hands on therapies or face-to-face consultations will still not be permitted to work directly on clients until July at the earliest (assuming all conditions for this are met in the meantime) and the IFA would urge all its members to comply with current Government instructions.  

In preparation of a ‘return to work date’, the IFA have prepared general guidance on how members can resume practice with maximum safety and a risk assessment, which will need to be viewed alongside each practitioner’s individual professional insurance policy before returning to work and can be downloaded in the member’s area.

Lobbying Efforts

We will continue to monitor further Government announcements closely to keep you informed of developments, as well as keeping you aware of the outcomes of lobbying efforts, as part of the PSA Collaborative working group to the UK, Welsh and Scottish Government health departments about the important role practitioners on Accredited Registers can make during the current pandemic. 

Essentially, the PSA has pointed out that:

  • PSA accredited practitioners form a key component of the wider public health workforce, with some of them already recognised as key workers
  • using the services of all practitioners on Accredited Registers might help mitigate the adverse impact of isolation on the mental and physical wellbeing of the nation, and the Government might wish to consider recognising all of them as key workers.

In the meantime, we are fortunate to be able to offer our wonderful therapy, without depending completely on massage, in the form of product(s) and holistic self-care advice. Therapists are creative and resilient people, and we are sure that your services will be needed more than ever once restrictions begin to ease.

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Financial Assistance

There will obviously be concerns about financial health, so for assistance, please view the support available to businesses impacted by COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme provides a taxable grant of 80% of average monthly profits (calculated from profits from the last 3 years) up to a cap of £2,500 a month to help those whose livelihoods have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. For more details please visit: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/self-employment-income-support-scheme/

HMRC have launched a tax helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their tax - information can be found here. The telephone number is 0800 0159 559. Companies House have also produced guidance if Coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts - for this information please click here. Lastly, for information about claiming benefits click here.

Alan Boswell Insurance also provide a lot of information which can be found here. 

Continual Professional Development (CPD) Points

We do understand that members are concerned about meeting the continual professional development criteria for practitioners during the pandemic and would urge practitioners to visit the member's area where you can find various free resources, courses and other information relating to how you can gain CPD points to continue to meet the requirements. We also remind practitioners to keep their CPD logs up to date and please do contact us if you unsure if an activity constitutes as CPD. 

We continue to wish you and your clients all the best and hope that these measures will be over soon.