Information for ABMP Members on State Updates Regarding COVID-19

Please refer to the most up-to-date posted information about COVID-19 Updates

Updated April 2, 2020.

As you know, cities and states across the country are calling for non-essential business shutdowns in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. Massage therapy and cosmetology services are included in these mandates, but in some cases there is a lack of clarity for hospital-based massage, and we are working on clarification in this area.

If you are in a state with one of these orders in effect, please pause your practice. Your ABMP liability insurance coverage includes an “illegal acts” exclusion of coverage, so if someone is still practicing during these executive orders, they are not covered.

For instance, the Colorado Department of Public Health Public Health Order of March 19, 2020, mandates that licensees “close to entry, exit, use, and occupancy by members of the public through April 30, 2020.” The order strongly advises people to adhere to social distancing parameters and not invite others in their home as a result of this temporary shutdown. Orders such as these are deemed necessary to control any potential transmission of disease to others and avoid overwhelming healthcare systems.

We recommend you continue to communicate with your clients via email and social media. Supportive messages go a long way to creating and sustaining community right now.

This situation is changing hourly on a state-by-state basis, but we are doing our best to keep the information below up to date. Please email to share updates from your state and local governments. We will keep you informed in this space on advisories as we move forward—together. Please stay safe and healthy.

(Looking for information about SBA Loans, unemployment applications, and the CARES Act? Our updates are available at

Current updates on state shutdowns and news updates (Please note that this is ABMP's best effort to organize and report what we have heard, not an official list. Please make sure to stay up-to-date on any official orders and information for your location):


March 19. The Jefferson County Department of Health on Thursday ordered the closing of all non-essential businesses and services due to the risk of infection by COVID-19. Non-essential services include:

  • Entertainment, including night clubs, bowling alleys, arcades, racetracks, indoor children’s play places, pool halls, adult gaming and entertainment venues
  • Recreation facilities, including gyms and fitness centers, swimming pools and spas, excluding licensed physical therapy services
  • Nail salons and spas
  • Concert venues and auditoriums, theaters
  • Tourist attractions (including museums, planetariums, parades)
  • Body art facilities and tattoo services
  • Tanning salons
  • Massage businesses
  • Waxing salons/threading salons
  • Museums and galleries
  • Performing arts centers/events/rehearsals
  • Social clubs, casinos
  • Proms, formals, and other similar events

March 27. As a result of the COVID-19 interruptions of study, the Alabama Board of Cosmetology and Barbering (ABOCB) will accept course work for distance-learning programs beginning March 16, 2020, through April 13, 2020, for clock hour courses for theory instruction that lead to licensure with ABOCB. Effective at the close of business on March 19, 2020, all written and practical exam testing sites will be closed until April 13, 2020. PSI is allowing candidates to reschedule exams at no additional charge. Please contact PSI at 833-333-4751 or 800-733-9267 to reschedule your exam.


March 26. The Governor has ordered all massage therapy locations, day spas, Rolfing, reiki, acupuncture, acupressure, and similar services closed.

March 27. Hairdressers, barbers, estheticians, manicurists, instructors, apprentices, and students: please be aware that 25% of theory training may be done in a distance education setting. Please refer to your specific curriculum for more information.

March 27. The April 6 written examinations scheduled for Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau have been canceled. Candidates that have been scheduled for their written examination on April 6, 2020, will be rescheduled to test on May 18, 2020. These candidates will be notified in writing of their examination date change.


March 26. At this time the Governor has mandated closure of cosmetology establishments and massage therapy clinics. Establishments and clinics should close by 12:00 p.m. March 25, 2020. During the public health emergency, all approved continuing education courses, whether approved for hands-on or online, can be administered online. All required 18 hours of continuing education can be obtained through online courses.

Until the public health emergency is lifted, one of the following guidelines can be used for license renewals: Renewals can be mailed in without the required 18 hours of continuing education; however, the hours should be submitted within 90 days after the conclusion of the public health emergency. Renewals can be deferred for 90 days past expiration without late fee penalties after the conclusion of the public health emergency.


March 25. Governor Doug Ducey today issued an executive order clarifying businesses and operations deemed “essential” by the state and providing certainty to business owners, employees, and families. The order is a proactive and administrative measure to ensure consistent guidance across the state. It does not appear to include cosmetology or massage therapy services in the list of essential services; please reference link for complete list.

March 27. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed Executive Order 2020-17 on March 26, 2020. The order states: "A state agency or board that licenses individuals or entities as indicated herein shall: a) defer requirements to renew licenses that have an expiration date between March 1, 2020, and September 1, 2020, by six months from the expiration date, unless those requirements can be completed online; b) Defer requirements to complete continuing education by six months, unless those requirements can be completed online or due to the nature of the license is not practical; c) suspend any rules that prevent or limit the amount of online or alternative learning hours permitted to issue or renew a license; d) make every attempt to implement electronic or remote format examinations for licensure where feasible; any fees required to be collected by the state agency or board may be waived." This order applies to the following boards: the Board of Barbers, the Board of Cosmetology, and the Board of Massage Therapy.

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March 19. The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health is ordering all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction, including housing construction.


April 2. Regarding Governor Polis’s March 19, 2020, Executive Order 2020 009 banning elective and non-emergency procedures: DORA-licensed massage therapists need to be diligent about compliance with the order. The state strongly recommends all licensed professionals adhere to CDPHE’s guidance regarding social distancing. Under this guidance, individuals are advised not to interact unless they can maintain a six-foot distance to prevent the spread of the virus. Contact between practitioners and clients should be limited to essential services only.

March 26. Gov. Jared Polis said he is issuing a statewide stay-at-home order effective Thursday morning in his latest attempt to try to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. The order, unveiled Wednesday afternoon at a news conference, goes into effect Thursday at 6:00 a.m. and continues until at least April 11. The order generally requires Coloradans to stay home unless they need to leave for necessary business reasons or to get food, exercise, or seek medical care. Businesses deemed “critical” are exempt.

March 19. Colorado Department of Public Health Order. “This order, effective immediately, impacts DORA licensees in the Barber/Cosmetology and Massage Therapy fields. Hair stylists, nail technicians, barbers, estheticians, cosmetologists, massage therapists, and shop owners in the barber/cosmetology industry licensed by the Division of Professions and Occupations are impacted.” Order in place through April 30, 2020.


March 26. Governor Ned Lamont ordered and directed restrictions on workplaces for non-essential businesses effective March 23, 2020, at 8:00 p.m. through April 22, 2020, unless earlier modified, extended, or terminated. All businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state shall employ telecommuting or work from home procedures and reduce their in-person workforces by 100% not later than March 23, 2020, at 8:00 p.m.


March 26. Governor John C. Carney issued a stay at home order and defined essential businesses. Click here for its definition:

District of Columbia:

March 31. D.C. issued a stay-at-home order Monday, March 30, for its residents to help contain the coronavirus outbreak, which goes into effect Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. Everyone in D.C. must stay at their residence, with certain exceptions, such as: getting medical care that cannot be provided through telehealth, getting food and essential household goods, performing or accessing essential governmental functions, working at essential businesses, engaging in essential travel, or engaging in allowable recreational activities. A person who does not follow the order could be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment for up to 90 days, or both. View the mayor's orders here:


March 23. Massage therapists should not be practicing per a March 20 executive order and an email from the Massage Therapy Board: "Today, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-72, regarding non-essential elective medical procedures. All hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, office surgery centers, dental, orthodontic and endodontic offices, and other health care practitioners’ offices in the state of Florida are prohibited from providing any medically unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency procedure or surgery which, if delayed, does not place a patient's immediate health, safety or wellbeing at risk, or will, if delayed, not contribute to the worsening of a serious or life-threatening medical condition."

March 24. The Board, by emergency rule, will permit the following hours to be taught using distance learning: 150 of Anatomy and Physiology; 25 of Massage Theory and History; 15 of Business; 3 of Theory and Practice of Hydrotherapy; 10 of Florida Laws and Rules; 4 of Professional Ethics; 3 of HIV/AIDS; and 2 of Prevention of Medical Errors. This action is considered a regulatory approach to help mitigate student/teacher exposure to COVID-19.


April 1. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said April 1, 2020, that he is issuing a statewide shelter-in-place order as the state continues to battle the coronavirus. During a news conference Wednesday afternoon, the governor said he would sign the order on Thursday and it would go into effect on Friday, April 3, 2020.

March 27. The Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers acknowledges the concerns of all involved parties about the spread of COVID-19. Under careful consideration, the Board voted to allow all Board licensed and approved schools to teach the theory portion of the curriculum through online education. Schools may utilize electronic education through current national programs such as Milady or Pivot Point, or classes taught through webinars like Go To Meeting, Citrix, and others. The practical part of the curriculum must still be taught inside the school.


March 25. Governor David Ige signed a third supplementary proclamation Monday, ordering the entire state to stay at home and work from home starting at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, March 25 through April 30. Essential workers are exempt. To ensure that the state continues to provide essential, core services, there are exemptions in the following categories: Healthcare services, grocery stores and pharmacies, food production and farming, public and private schools, restaurants offering take-out services, hotels and motels, construction, and essential government functions. Non-compliance would be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, or up to one year in jail, or both. For questions about exemptions, email


March 27. Idaho Governor Brad Little has issued a statewide 21-day stay at home order. All restaurants must immediately stop having dining in services and can only have drive-through, curbside, delivery, and to-go orders. Non-essential businesses, such as bars, nightclubs, gyms, recreational facilities, entertainment venues, convention centers, and hair and nail salons, will need to close.

March 27. On March 16, 2020, at its regularly scheduled and noticed meeting, the Board voted to allow barber and cosmetology schools to use distance learning for Theory courses, including the use of mannequin heads if necessary, from now until April 6, 2020. At its April 2, 2020, meeting, the Board will revisit this decision and provide further guidance to schools at that time.


March 20. Shelter in Place order issued for all people except for essential services through 4/7/2020. Massage therapy is not included in essential services. ABMP is seeking clarification on massage therapy offered in a health-care setting that is included in essential services. Any professional licenses issued by the department with renewal dates between March 1, 2020, through and including July 31, 2020, are granted an automatic extension to renew to September 30, 2020. Under the measures, all massage therapy schools are permitted to offer online instruction for their lecture-based, non-hands-on courses, and all cosmetology schools are permitted to teach online theory courses above the current 10 percent hour limitation for students who are graduating on or before July 31, 2020.


March 19. The Madison County Health Department has ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses beginning Friday in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new restrictions will be in effect from 8:00 a.m. March 20, 2020, through April 6, 2020. As a result, Madison County needs to take necessary steps to ensure the safety of each citizen in the community. The Madison County Health Department has directed the following actions:

  • The closure of: hair salons, nail salons, spas, barber shops, tattoo parlors, liquor stores, electronic stores, department stores, hobby and craft stores, automotive dealerships, furniture stores, clothing stores, resale stores, and any other retail stores that do not sell food or home supplies.

March 27. From the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (PLA): licenses issued by the State that are set to expire in the next 60 days will instead expire on May 22, 2020. This means that any license that is currently active will remain active until at least May 22. This will affect the following professions licensed under PLA: cosmetology, barbering, and massage therapy.


March 25. Effective 10:00 p.m., March 22, 2020, and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2020, the following establishments licensed by the Bureau of Professional Licensure shall be closed: Salons, including all establishments providing the services of cosmetology, electrology, esthetics, nail technology, manicuring, and pedicuring, all as defined in Iowa Code § 157.1; Barbershops, as defined in Iowa Code § 158.1; Massage therapy establishments, where an individual is practicing massage therapy as defined by Iowa Code § 152C.1(3).


The Kansas Board of Cosmetology Licensed Schools authorized the Executive Director to temporarily approve school requests for distance learning for students currently enrolled where the distance learning venue meets the statutory 1:25 student-instructor ratio and a method of tracking attendance is in place. Schools requesting approval should email


March 25. All "non-life-sustaining" businesses in Kentucky will be closed to in-person traffic by 8:00 p.m. Thursday, March 26, as Kentucky officials try to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, Governor Andy Beshear said Tuesday. Beshear said the businesses impacted by the latest order will be spelled out in an executive order Wednesday. Many businesses and retailers have already closed to in-person traffic, and Beshear said staples like groceries, pharmacies, and gas stations will continue to operate throughout the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


March 25. Governor John Bel Edwards issued a statewide Stay at Home order that goes into effect at 5:00 p.m. Monday, March 23, to further fight the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana. People can leave their homes to do essential things like buying groceries or food, pick up medicine, or go to work only if their job is essential. If you have to go out, make sure you practice social distancing measures and keep 6 feet between you and the people around you. The order is set to expire at the end of the night on Sunday, April 12. The new Stay at Home order has limits on the following: All personal care and grooming businesses, including but not limited to barber shops, beauty salons, nail salons, spas, massage parlors, tattoo parlors, and other similar businesses.


March 25. The Governor issued an order Tuesday afternoon that includes heavier restrictions on Maine businesses and groups as a means to further urge social distancing to prevent the spread of the pandemic illness. Effective March 25 at 12:01 a.m., the Governor has mandated that "all non-essential businesses close their physical locations that are public facing, meaning those that allow customer, vendor, or other in-person contact." Additionally, Governor Mills has ordered the closure of non-essential businesses that require more than 10 people to be in a space where physical distancing is not practical. This mandated closure of businesses will remain in place for a period of fourteen days, until April 8.


March 31. Maryland will be under a "stay-at-home" order beginning at 8:00 p.m. March 30. Gov. Larry Hogan made the announcement the same morning in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The executive order instructs residents to stay at home and only travel outside their residence for a handful of reasons. They include going out to obtain medical supplies or services, picking up groceries or other necessary products, and going out to public spaces to engage in activities. Hogan said any Maryland resident who violates the order will be convicted of a misdemeanor and subject to up to a year in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both.

March 27. Regarding programs that lead to licensure, the US Department of Education has left the decision to accept clock-hours in a distance education format up to the applicable licensure body.


March 23. Governor Charlie Baker on Monday, March 23, ordered all non-essential businesses and organizations to close for at least two weeks, but said he would not issue a stay-at-home order.


March 26. Executive Order 2020-20 was issued, which states: "To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, protect the public health, and provide essential protections to vulnerable Michiganders, it is reasonable and necessary to impose limited and temporary restrictions on the use of places of public accommodation." The Executive Order clarified an earlier order that imposed such restrictions by clarifying which facilities are deemed "non-essential." The order continues: "Beginning as soon as possible but no later than March 22, 2020, at 9:00 a.m., and continuing until April 13, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., the following places of public accommodation are closed to ingress, egress, use, and occupancy by members of the public ... Non-essential personal care services, [including] hair, nail, tanning, massage, traditional spa, tattoo, body art, and piercing services, and similar personal care services that require individuals to be within six feet of each other. This does not include services necessary for medical treatment as determined by a licensed medical provider.",9309,7-387-90499_90705-522576--,00.html?fbclid=IwAR1cziSB8ViFeOyBfWyRlrMRSMoB91axCqk0iSij99hYvHbUOFWoE29sBJs

March 20. Gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios and spas all need to be shut down between March 16 and March 30.,9309,7-387-90499_90705-521789--,00.html


March 27. Tim Walz, Governor of the State of Minnesota, issued an Executive Order closing the following business: tanning and body art establishments, tattoo and piercing parlors, businesses offering massage therapy or similar bodywork, spas, salons, nail salons, cosmetology salons, esthetician salons, advanced practice esthetician salons, eyelash salons, and barber shops. This includes, but is not limited to, all salons and shops licensed by the Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners and the Minnesota Board of Barber Examiners.

March 23. Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-08, clarifying the types of businesses and places of public accommodation subject to closure per Executive Order 20-04. The executive order clarifies that the closure order applies to salons, barbershops, and other similar establishments. The governor modified Executive Order 20-04 to close "businesses offering massage therapy" through March 27 at 5:00 pm.


March 20. The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) advises that given the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in Mississippi and the shortage of protective medical equipment, elective medical procedures and non-essential medical visits must be postponed at this time. The following measures should be taken:

  • Physicians, hospitals, and medical centers must defer elective surgical and diagnostic procedures until COVID-19 spread has been diminished and the supply of protective medical equipment is restored.
  • Physicians and providers should reschedule non-urgent medical appointments for a later date.
  • Dentists must delay non-emergency or routine dental procedures.
  • Patients should reschedule any non-essential procedures, surgeries, or medical visits until the threat of COVID-19 is diminished.
  • These measures will protect patients and health-care professionals by minimizing potential exposure to COVID-19 and preserving valuable protective equipment.
  • Follow MSDH by email and social media at


March 31. Governor Michael L. Parson declared a state of emergency in Missouri due to COVID-19.


March 25. Governor Steve Bullock on Tuesday extended his executive order regarding the coronavirus by two weeks, setting a new deadline of April 10 for closures of schools, restaurants, bars, gyms, and other entities. He also placed mandates on "social distancing," prohibiting nonessential social and recreational gatherings outside of homes of more than 10 people.


March 31. Governor Pete Ricketts signed an emergency declaration: "I am declaring a State of Emergency in Nebraska as we continue to work to be the best prepared state in the nation for COVID-19,” said Governor Ricketts. “All across the state, individuals, businesses, employers, and churches are stepping up to make plans to mitigate the impact of the virus. There is a role for each one of us in this as we work together to keep people healthy.”


April 2. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak issued a stay-at-home order April 1, 2020, which will remain in effect until April 30, 2020, and extended the nonessential business closures. Nonessential businesses include those that promote recreational social gathering activities, or promote extended periods of public interaction where the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is high. This includes spas, hairdressers, barbers, nail salons, massage not provided by a physical therapist, waxing, and other cosmetic services.

March 23. The Nevada governor's office released a list Wednesday, March 18, of "essential" businesses in the state that are to remain open and the "non-essential" sectors that the governor recommended close in support of COVID-19 social distancing. Beauty and personal care services and facilities, including but not limited to barber shops, beauty, tanning, waxing hair salons, and nail salons and spas, are considered non-essential. "Health care services" are considered essential, although massage is not specifically mentioned.

New Hampshire:

March 31. On Thursday, March 26, 2020, Governor Christopher T. Sununu issued Emergency Order #17, requiring non-essential businesses to close and Granite State citizens to stay at home. The order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 27, 2020, and lasts until May 4, 2020. View the full list of essential businesses here:

New Jersey:

March 31. Due to the ongoing concerns regarding the COVID-19 virus and in the interest of protecting the safety and health of New Jersey residents, the Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy is allowing licensees to complete all the required 20 hours of continuing education (CE) online for the 2020 renewal cycle.

March 21. All barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors, nail salons, hair removal services, and related personal care services will be closed to members of the public effective Saturday, March 21, 2020, at 8:00 p.m., as these services cannot be provided while maintaining social distance.

New Mexico:

March 25. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced during a press conference Monday that she has ordered New Mexico Secretary of Health Kathy Kunkel to issue a new public health order suspending operations at non-essential businesses and non-profits in an effort to prevent further spread of COVID-19. The order is effective beginning at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday and will remain in place through April 10.

New York:

March 21. All barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing salons, nail salons, hair removal services, and related personal care services will be closed to the public effective Saturday, March 21, 2020, at 8:00 p.m. New York will implement a 90-day moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants. Casinos, gyms, theaters, retail shopping malls, amusement parks, and bowling alleys are closed until further notice. Bars and restaurants are closed, but takeout can be ordered during the period of closure. Testing is free for all eligible New Yorkers as ordered by a health-care provider. 

North Carolina:

March 24. On Monday, March 23, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper ordered all K-12 public schools to be closed through May 15. Businesses such as gyms, movie theaters, sweepstakes parlors, and health clubs were asked to close as soon as possible and must close by Wednesday afternoon. Hair and nail salons, barbershops, and massage businesses were also advised to close.

North Dakota:

March 23. Health clubs are specifically shut down as of March 20. Massage therapy is not specifically identified. The Board and ABMP are seeking clarification on whether massage is included in health clubs. The Board also does not have the authority to mandate closure of a licensee's business or establishments. Instead, the Board is asking that licensees carefully consider recommendations made by the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), the North Dakota Department of Health, and the Governor's Office.    


March 19. Effective immediately March 19, all "Massage Therapy Locations" must be shut down.


March 23. The recommendations include temporarily postponing elective surgeries, implementing best practices for medical providers, helping grocery stores innovate their operations by providing drive-thru pick up or delivery for all customers and encouraging the use of technology, and temporarily closing some high-touch businesses like spas, nail salons, and massage locations.


March 27. Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order EO 20-12, which prohibits shopping at specific categories of retail businesses for which close personal contact is difficult to avoid, such as arcades, barber shops, hair salons, gyms, and fitness studios, skating rinks, theaters, and yoga studios. Massage falls into a category of business for which close personal contact is difficult to avoid and therefore should be subject to Executive Order 20-12. Medical massage, however, is exempt.


March 23. Governor Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations as of 8:00 p.m. March 19, to slow the spread of COVID-19. Enforcement actions against businesses that do not close physical locations will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21. “To protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians, we need to take more aggressive mitigation actions,” said Gov. Wolf. “This virus is an invisible danger that could be present everywhere. We need to act with the strength we use against any other severe threat. And, we need to act now before the illness spreads more widely.”

March 24. Governor Wolf granted the Department of State’s request to suspend restrictions on distance learning for continuing education requirements for certain licensed professionals. Many licensing boards of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs have ongoing continuing education requirements. Although only a few boards are currently in renewal, many “in-person” continuing education programs are canceling courses or closing education centers and it is unknown how long they may be impacted. The Board of Massage Therapy has restrictions on the number or percentage of continuing education hours that can be done through distance education. The governor granted a suspension of restrictions that limited the ability of licensees to take classes online or participate in distance-learning opportunities for the current biennial renewal period to permit all licensees to complete their continuing education online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rhode Island:

March 26. No later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020, all close-contact business (businesses that cannot maintain social distancing with their customers) including, but not limited to, gymnasiums, fitness centers, hair salons and barbershops, nail salons, spas, and tattoo parlors shall cease in-person operations.

South Carolina:

April 1. The SC Emergency Management Division and the SC Department of Commerce have developed a list of industries deemed “non-essential” that will be closed temporarily effective 5:00 p.m. on April 1, 2020. “Non-essential” businesses, venues, facilities, services, and activities will be closed to non-employees and will not be open for access or use by the public. Such businesses include close-contact service providers such as barber shops, hair salons, waxing and threading salons, nail salons and spas, and massage-therapy establishments and massage services.

March 25. The Massage/Bodywork Panel is continuing to monitor the challenges presented by COVID-19 (coronavirus) as the situation progresses, and will provide additional guidance in regards to issues that may emerge, as circumstances warrant. There is no order to stop, but we recommend you follow social distancing protocols, and suggest that licensees review and be familiar with federal OSHA and CDC information regarding COVID-19 and the workplace, businesses, and employees.

March 25. The deadline to renew massage licenses is June 30 of even years. All new licensees have to renew their license if it is issued before the renewal window is open 60 days in advance of the deadline.

March 25. To proactively address the concerns regarding COVID-19, the Panel will allow all approved licensed massage schools to offer pre-licensure course work to be delivered online in lieu of meeting face-to-face in the classroom as required by the Panel’s statutory provision. This distance education will be limited to the theory hours of instruction for Anatomy and Physiology, Pathology, Business, and Massage Theory Review. The Panel’s temporary emergency provision is a result of Governor McMaster’s mandate that all state colleges must deliver online education in lieu of meeting face-to-face with students from March 16 through March 31.

South Dakota:

March 31. Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order on Monday setting a baseline for decision-making related to the novel coronavirus in South Dakota. Employers should implement the recommended CDC hygiene practices and other business strategies designed to reduce the likelihood of spreading the disease, encourage staff to telework if possible, implement social distancing measures, limit unnecessary work gatherings, limit non-essential travel, and consider regular health checks, including CDC guidance for COVID-19 screening if possible.


March 26. Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper issued a "safer at home" order for all of Davidson County for the next 14 days. The order was given in an effort to help limit the spread of COVID-19. The order closes nonessential businesses and urges people to stay at home unless they have an essential need beginning 12:01 a.m. Monday, March 23.


April 1. Governor Greg Abbott's Executive Order GA-08 is subject to expiration at 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2020, absent further direction. To avoid scenarios that could lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths, the Governor ordered that every person in Texas shall, except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services, minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household. The order is effective 12:01 a.m. on April 2, 2020, and continues through April 30, 2020, subject to extension based on the status of COVID-19 in Texas and the recommendations of the CDC and the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Failure to comply with any executive order issued during the COVID-19 disaster is an offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days, or both fine and confinement.

April 1. Effective April 2, 2020, only essential services are allowed. Only people providing essential services are permitted to be out in public providing services. This new order prohibits services from being provided by massage therapists, barbers, and cosmetologists.

April 2. The Texas Department of Licensing announces provisions to allow cosmetology, barbering, and massage therapy schools to offer practical instructions remotely, utilizing technologies such as videos of hands-on work, electronic learning, virtual learning, and other practices that would effectively deliver the practical portion of the school’s curriculum to ensure that a student develops the job skills and knowledge to obtain a license in Texas. Remote practical instruction does not include internship or apprenticeship instructional hours.

March 24. To help keep its licensees ready and available to assist with combating the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) is taking the following actions: Waiving continuing education requirements for all licenses expiring in March, April, and May 2020. Licensees will still submit their renewal applications, pay the required fees, and have their criminal histories checked, but they will not need to complete any required continuing education requirements this licensing cycle.
The Texas Department of Licensing reminds other practitioners that they must continue to observe sanitary requirements. Anyone seeking guidance about whether to continue providing services should contact their local health departments or county judges, who are authorized to make that decision 


March 31. Utah Governor Gary Herbery issued a "Stay Home, Stay Safe" directive to be in place until 11:59 p.m. on April 13, 2020.


March 23. Governor Phil Scott has ordered all "close-contact businesses" in the state—spas, barbershops, nail and hair salons, gyms, and fitness centers, as well as tattoo parlors—to close by Monday, March 23, at 8:00 p.m. The new restrictions are in place until April 15, according to the order. Such businesses are "unable to comply with guidelines for social distancing," the governor's office said in a Saturday morning press release.


March 31. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a stay-at-home order Monday as cases of the coronavirus rise nationwide. Northam said people should only leave their homes to obtain food, supplies or medical care, or for exercise. All gatherings of more than 10 people are banned. Following his previous executive order, all restaurants and nonessential retail stores may continue to stay open if they limit the number of people in a space to 10 or less. Any person holding a gathering of 10 or more people can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.

March 25. Governor Northam announced on Monday that he would be signing Executive Order 53, which would take effect at the end of Tuesday (11:59 p.m. on March 24) ordering some non-essential services, including all recreation and entertainment services, to close. Hair salons, barbers, massage therapists, and similar non-essential services who can't feasibly carry out social distancing must close.


March 26. Jay Inslee, Governor of the state of Washington, imposed a Stay Home – Stay Healthy Order throughout Washington State by prohibiting all people in Washington State from leaving their homes or participating in social, spiritual, and recreational gatherings of any kind regardless of the number of participants, and all non-essential businesses in Washington State from conducting business. All people in Washington State shall immediately cease leaving their home or place of residence except: (1) to conduct or participate in essential activities, and/or (2) for employment in essential business services. For a list of essential business services, follow this link:

April 2. The Secretary of Health has extended license expiration dates for health professions, including massage therapy licenses, for licenses up for renewal between April 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020. This extension will allow health professionals to promote continued patient safety during the COVID-19 outbreak. Because renewal payment won’t be required until September 30, 2020, it will also reduce the economic burden on those providers not able to work during this emergency.

West Virginia:

March 25. With most of West Virginia’s surrounding states ordering non-essential businesses to close or ordering residents to shelter in place, Governor Jim Justice said Monday that he would order residents to stay home and close non-essential businesses starting tonight due to the coronavirus. “If your business or operation is not essential, then you’ll be temporarily closed,” Justice said. Click the link to view what is considered essential services—it appears cosmetology and massage therapy services are not.


March 24. Governor Tony Evers issued an Emergency Order, which states: "Social distancing—the practice of keeping at least six feet apart from others and avoiding direct physical contact—is the only effective means of slowing the rate of infection. Despite prior emergency orders banning mass gatherings, the rates of infection continue to drastically increase, necessitating additional measures to slow the rate of infection and save lives.... Through Executive Order #72, and at the direction of Governor Tony Evers, I, Andrea Palm, Secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, order the following: ... All of the following facilities shall be closed: Salons and spas. This includes, but is not limited to, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, day spas, electrolysis providers, waxing salons, eyebrow-care establishments, tattoo parlors, body art establishments, and tanning facilities ... For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence to work for or obtain services at any Healthcare and Public Health Operations." Massage therapists are included under Healthcare and Public Health Operations.


March 30. Effective immediately and continuing through April 17, 2020, unless revoked or extended by the Wyoming Department of Healthy before April 17, 2020, the following are ordered closed to members of the public in order to stop the spread of COVID-19: nail salons, hair salons, and barber shops; cosmetology, electrology, and esthetics services; massage businesses (excluding massage performed for medical purposes).



Ohio sent personal emails to all Massage Therapists from the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Medical Board to cease operation of massage practice effective today March 20, 2020. The attached order was vague in that it mentioned Massage in a spa setting and also massage locations.

Diane, Thank you for sharing. We've updated the page with the information you shared. Sorry for the delay on replying, but thank you again for your outreach! —Jed at ABMP

Idaho is not listed but I know that there are confirmed cases in neighboring counties and unofficial in my county. The decision to shut down my business is so difficult both financially and emotionally. What is your advice for those of us not mandated to shut down?

Cheryl, Sorry for the delay. All of our latest updates are at, and our recommendation for those in states that have not been mandated to shut down is specifically at "We strongly encourage you to suspend your practice on a short-term, temporary basis." We will update this page with any information we have on recommendations in Idaho, and our thoughts are with you during this difficult time. —Jed at ABMP

<p>I just read your notices and so i did send an email to the senators namely Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris.</p>

<p>I also send an email to Nanette Diaz Barragan for my Representative. I talked to other MT that I know and provided them the same</p>

<p>letter to send it to, even though some of them are not ABMP members. Did it today, March 21, 2020</p>

Dayna, Thank you so much for your action on this. We appreciate you spreading the word, and enlisting others as well! —Jed at ABMP

Michigan:  Governor Whitmer ordered a new executive order 3/21/2020 shut down until April 13, 2020. (specifically stating "massage and non-essential personal care services" requiring people to be within 6 ft of their clients),9309,7-387-90499_90705-522576--,00.html?fbclid=IwAR1cziSB8ViFeOyBfWyRlrMRSMoB91axCqk0iSij99hYvHbUOFWoE29sBJs

Dawn, Thank you for sharing, and yes, rules and recommendations are changing quickly on a state and local level. We are doing our best to compile everything here, but the best course of action is to make sure you are up to date from all relevant official governing bodies for your location. Wishing you health and safety at this time, —Jed at ABMP

Blythe, Thank you for your update. We have added this information to the page, and we appreciate your support. —Jed at ABMP

If my state isn't listed can I still practice? I have an office building on our property.

Liv, We have updated this post with the latest recommendations from Vermont, and I've copied them here for reference. —Jed at ABMP

March 23. Governor Phil Scott has ordered all "close-contact businesses" in the state—spas, barbershops, nail and hair salons, gyms, and fitness centers, as well as tattoo parlors—to close by Monday, March 23, at 8:00 p.m. The new restrictions are in place until April 15, according to the order. Such businesses are "unable to comply with guidelines for social distancing," the governor's office said in a Saturday morning press release.

Effective 9 p.m. March 19, all non-essential retail and commercial establishments are ordered closed. 


Thank you for sharing Mitchell, we appreciate your help. We've posted the newest update from Florida, which I'm including here. Stay safe out there! —Jed at ABMP

March 23. Massage therapists should not be practicing per a March 20 executive order and an email from the Massage Therapy Board: "Today, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-72, regarding non-essential elective medical procedures. All hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, office surgery centers, dental, orthodontic and endodontic offices, and other health care practitioners’ offices in the state of Florida are prohibited from providing any medically unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency procedure or surgery which, if delayed, does not place a patient's immediate health, safety or wellbeing at risk, or will, if delayed, not contribute to the worsening of a serious or life-threatening medical condition."

Is this "safer at home" order just by the county or by state? 

Jill, Thank you for reaching out. We know that this is a difficult time for members. Please contact our member service team at 800-458-2267 directly to discuss membership options at this time. —Jed at ABMP



In New York state massage is not specifically listed as essential or banned, leaving therapists to determine for themselves if they are banned from practicing.  There was however, a quote from Governor Cuomo where he specifically mentions massage as a luxury and non essential.  This is just him talking and not law, but it's relevant.  Here is one of many links to this quote.

I would appreciate if the ABMP would follow up with this.  There is currently no way for therapists to get an answer.  Any phone number just tells you to check the website for the list of essential services.  If the ABMP is not covering claims from NY at this time, we need to know.

Thank You