Gradual Restart of Services: Updated Government Order and Practice Guidance for RMTs

May 28, 2020

Gradual Restart of Deferred Services: Updated Government Order

Ontario was previously in a situation where healthcare professionals were only allowed to provide emergency/urgent care through a government ordered closure of non-essential businesses.

The government’s order was recently updated. With the updated order (Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Directive #2 for Regulated Health Professionals, attached) Massage Therapists (RMTs) are now permitted to gradually restart Massage Therapy services.

Directive #2 allows for a gradual restart of services to be carried out with adherence to guidance from the health profession’s regulatory college. CMTO is recommending that RMTs resume practice gradually because the Directive encourages healthcare providers to limit the number of in-person visits for the safety of healthcare providers and their patients/clients. In the gradual restart of services, RMTs must:

  • Comply with requirements in the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 Operational Requirements: Health Sector Restart (May 26, 2020 or as current), including the hierarchy of hazard controls;
  • Prioritize clients with essential care needs while gradually resuming practice. Treatment is considered essential when the client’s overall health or function would considerably decline if treatment were not provided (i.e. lead to hospitalization or other serious health consequences);
  • Adhere to the COVID-19 Pandemic – Practice Guidance for Massage Therapists;
  • Restart Massage Therapy practice gradually, ensuring enough time between appointments to clean and disinfect the practice environment; and
  • Regularly look for updates on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 webpage and the CMTO webpage, as the pandemic continues to evolve

COVID-19 Pandemic – Updated Practice Guidance for Massage Therapists

This guidance has been prepared based on Ministry of Health and Public Health Ontario information and resources, in collaboration with other healthcare regulators. RMTs providing care are expected to follow this guidance.

Please note, the updated guidance includes a requirement for an RMT to instruct the client (and any visitor accompanying the client) to come to the appointment wearing a clean disposable or reusable mask to be worn throughout the treatment.

We have prepared frequently asked questions (FAQs) to address the questions we have received to date. We encourage RMTs to review the updated practice guidance and FAQs.

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.