The owners of spas in dire need of income plead for their reopening and to help Quebecers to take care of them.
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“Hundreds of thousands of dollars are lost every month. It’s been two high seasons that the government has pulled the rug out from under us with the high traffic period, ”laments Steve Arseneault, president of Groupe Scandinave Spa, which has two establishments in Quebec.
According to an internal survey conducted by the Association des spas du Québec, 52% of members have lost more than $200,000 in just one month, reports the
President and CEO Véronyque Tremblay.
“In total, these establishments were closed for 10 months out of 22 months of the pandemic, it’s really huge! The losses are piling up and it’s starting to be very difficult,” says Ms.me Tremblay.
She adds that no spa has reported an outbreak since the start of the crisis.
She hopes that the industry will be part of the deconfinement plan that Public Health is to present soon.
For these professionals, the government is showing inconsistency in the measures it imposes, especially since it is reluctant to reopen restaurants on January 31 or February 8, according to what our Parliamentary Office has learned.
“We don’t understand why we are closed when most of our activities, such as the water circuits, are outside. The INSPQ asks schools to open the windows for a breath of fresh air, but spas are breaths of fresh air”, illustrates Mme Tremblay.
And these establishments were already safe before the pandemic, adds Steve Arseneault.
“The health aspect is second nature to us, it’s part of our DNA,” he explains, pointing out in addition that customers come mostly alone or as a couple.
The businessman also wants to make his contribution to improving the mental health of Quebecers while it is scratched by the pandemic.
“We are part of the solution, not part of the problem, especially with the psychological distress that the population can experience. We have our place more than ever, ”he pleads.
For his part, virologist Benoît Barbeau thinks that the risk of transmission of the virus remains low due to the humidity and heat of certain spa rooms.
“If we are able to reduce, to limit the number of people inside a room, I am convinced that we can limit the risk of transmission”, he indicates.