Tennessee COVID-19 State Update—Permission to Practice May 6, 2020

There have been many changes in the massage therapy, esthetics, and cosmetology professions and communities in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus), from state orders closing businesses, to reopening phases modifying practice procedures. Below is information regarding your back-to-practice date and safety guidelines to minimize risk of exposure to and spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. We have also included updates impacting massage therapy continuing education and distance learning for schools. 

Permission to Practice—May 6, 2020 

On May 5, 2020, Governor Lee issued Executive Order No 33, allowing barbershops, hair salons, waxing and threading salons, nail salons, spas providing body treatments, and massage therapy establishments to reopen May 6, 2020. Those returning to practice are encouraged by the state to follow the suggested guidelines for close contact businesses

We urge you to make government permission to work only one element of your decision about whether and when to return. Each practitioner will need to evaluate the decision to return to work on a personal level, and practitioners will likely make different decisions based on their individual situations.

Additional Safety Resources

ABMP, ASCP, AHP, and ANP understand there is a fine line between getting back to work and earning an income and protecting the safety of you and your clients. As you consider returning to work, please review our comprehensive series of back-to-practice guidelines to help reduce risk and keep you and your clients safe.

Massage Therapy Continuing Education 

At their May 11, 2020, board meeting, the Tennessee Board of Massage Licensure voted in favor of accepting continuing education completed online to fulfill CE requirements. However, this applies only to the current CE cycle that began January 1, 2019, and ends December 31, 2020.

ABMP members have access to hundreds of hours of free CE in the ABMP Education Center. Let us help you fulfill your CE requirements at www.abmp.com/ce

Distance Learning Policy Amended 

The Tennessee Board of Massage Licensure amended the prior distance learning policy at their board meeting on May 11, 2020. Per standard Board rules, massage therapy programs must consist of a minimum of 500 "classroom hours." However, classroom hours were restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of this, the Board voted to consider up to 40% of the total hours obtained in a Tennessee massage school offered in an online or distance learning format. The Board encourages massage schools to keep records detailing what coursework was completed online and in the classroom for each student. This information may be requested from schools by the Board.  

We appreciate your membership and will continue working on your behalf to update you as we learn more. Be safe and be well.

If you have questions or concerns, email us at gr@abmp.com.