Closure of Non-Essential Business Extended and Practice Guidance for RMTs

May 19, 2020

Closure of Non-Essential Business Extended

In an effort to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Ontario has extended the closure of non-essential businesses until May 29, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. In this order, healthcare professionals are restricted from providing anything other than emergency/urgent care. The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO)’s position is that Massage Therapists (RMTs) should not practice because CMTO does not view the practice of Massage Therapy as emergency/urgent care in this pandemic.

COVID-19 Pandemic – DRAFT Practice Guidance for Massage Therapists

On May 14, 2020 the Premier announced the re-opening of some business in Ontario, including the resumption of some healthcare services (elective surgery and in-person counselling). Massage Therapy was not included in this initial phase of re-opening. CMTO does not know when government restrictions will be lifted. We are working closely with government and will update RMTs as soon as we have more information.

While RMTs in Ontario are not yet able to return to practice, CMTO has developed draft guidance for when the restrictions are lifted. This guidance has been prepared based on Ministry of Health (MOH) and Public Health Ontario (PHO) information and resources, in collaboration with other healthcare regulators, and in consultation with the Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario. CMTO is sharing this guidance now, in advance of the restrictions being lifted, so RMTs have time to prepare. Please consider the guidance as draft because MOH and PHO requirements may change.

COVID-19 Pandemic – DRAFT Practice Guidance for Massage Therapists includes:

  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols
  • The use of surgical/procedure masks by RMTs (Please see the Government of Ontario’s dedicated website for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for more information on obtaining PPE)
  • Changing linens, blankets and pillows after each client
  • Rigorous disinfecting of face cradles, stools, treatment table etc.
  • Removing any items that cannot be cleaned and disinfected between clients (e.g. table warmers/pads, holster to hold topical products)

Please review COVID-19 Pandemic – DRAFT Practice Guidance for Massage Therapists for detailed information about all the requirements.

CMTO is currently working on frequently asked questions (FAQs) to accompany this guidance. FAQs will address issues specific to the Standards (e.g. maintaining the client health record), policies (e.g. electronic receipts), and delivery of client care (e.g. considerations for a client who wants to wear a mask).

If you have any questions about this guidance, please contact CMTO’s Practice Specialist at or by phone at (416) 489-2626/1-800-465-1933 extension 4124.