COVID-19 :: Our Response & Responsibility
Please note that under the current stage 4 restrictions which is in effect in Melbourne Metro area, in-person treatments are limited to essential care and emergency work only. Blys as an online booking platform is operational however we strongly advise you to hold off on accepting bookings until after the stage 4 restrictions are eased. We advised the clients who use the Blys platform to do the same.
As a technology provider, Blys is not authorised to advise you on your choices with regards to your own business. As the owner of your own business, this decision is entirely up to you.
The only advice we can give you is to follow the latest updates from the official government sources (and only the government sources), and ensure you comply with current legislation on hygiene and safety requirements including restrictions on travel or work.
Please refer to these links below for the official sources:
March 27, 2020
Hope you've been well and staying safe.
A quick update on some of the developments on our end.
In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in our community, from midnight Friday (March 27, 2020) until further notice, we’ve made the decision to stop accepting new in-person bookings through our platform.
If you see bookings in your app, please kindly decline, or alternatively you may choose to go offline for the time being.
We’ve been following government guidance closely since the beginning of the outbreak, and have been advising clients and therapists who use our platform to connect to do the same. Despite Blys (as an online booking platform) not being restricted by government to operate its software business and the decision to work is with each individual practitioner, we believe it’s the right thing to do at this stage to proactively prevent therapists and clients from connecting in person and potentially putting their health at risk, despite the strict hygiene practices they follow.
This wasn’t an easy decision for us as our practitioner partners rely on the Blys platform to earn a living, and many clients rely on those practitioners for their health and wellbeing - but we believe the harder we go at fighting the virus, the sooner it will go away and the sooner life will go back to normal. We're all in this together. We all have to come together.
However, staying home shouldn't mean giving up on your wellness regime!
To ensure our communities remain healthy and fit (body and mind) while staying home, and to bring much needed financial support for practitioners during this period, next week we are launching online wellness services which we call Blys Telehealth. With Blys Telehealth, clients will be able to book qualified practitioners to deliver private yoga, pilates, mindfulness, PT and mental health sessions and classes online through two-way video chat through Blys.
You can find out more about these online services here:
We’re onboarding practitioners as we speak - so if you are an instructor/practitioner of one or more of these services/modalities, or if you know anyone who is, please get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to chat.
For those practitioners who are not qualified in these additional modalities, we have a blog post coming soon on some tips to get through these difficult times, stay tuned.
Stay home, stay safe, and stay well!
Wishing all the best to you and your family,
Your friends at Blys
March 18, 2020
In light of recent and developing circumstances surrounding the outbreak of Coronavirus, we wanted to send out a quick message to let you know that we share your concerns about the situation, and to reiterate our commitment to your overall health and wellbeing; physical, mental and financial.
We want to take this opportunity to detail some of the additional preventive measures we are taking to ensure the safety of the therapists, the clients and the wider community.
What we are doing about Covid-19.
Although we have had no reports of any therapist within the Blys network or any client having contracted coronavirus, in light of the recent developments, we have taken some extra precautions to ensure the absolute health and safety of our partner therapists and clients.
We added 2 additional questions in the client booking form to better screen clients for potential health risks relating to coronavirus. If the client answers ‘Yes’ to either of these questions, we will contact the client immediately to cancel the booking request and temporarily suspend the client account until we’ve been provided with a clearance. These questions are;
Have you travelled internationally in the last 14 days? (Y/N)
Do you show any flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, coughing, runny nose)? (Y/N)
We added a public announcement banner on our website about our policy on COVID-19.
We compiled a list of recommendations & handy tips on how to keep yourself and their clients healthy and safe. You can find them here.
All therapists in our network are professionally qualified practitioners and already follow a high level of hygiene standards as per the industry Codes of Conduct. In addition, we advise you to take extra measures specific to minimise the spread of COVID, such as:
Wipe down tables and all other equipment with hospital grade disinfectant before and after each treatment.
Wash hands using liquid soap for at least 20 seconds. When a sink isn’t available, use an alcohol based hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol on yourself and on your client.
Use new linen for every client.
We encourage you to remain vigilant of your own health. If you show flu-like symptoms or have travelled internationally in the last 14 days, please contact our Support team immediately. We will temporarily put your account on hold until you’re fully recovered and have clearance. As mentioned, we haven’t had any reports so far, however we’re monitoring this very closely.
If you choose to self-isolate, we also compiled a list of recommendations & handy tips on Things You Can Do While Stuck In Self-Isolation or Quarantine, and Things You Can Do To Manage Your Finances During Economic Downturn.
We have cancelled all scheduled therapist events / meetups until further notice.
We’re currently looking to add a selection of essential products that you can order via the Blys app and have them delivered to your home.
The first option is healthy snack packs, which are now available to order on our website and in the Blys app. We will be adding more options in the coming days as we manage to secure supplies.
What you can do to help.
If you, or anyone in your household, is feeling unwell or exhibiting flu-like symptoms, no matter how mild, we ask you to not to work. Notify our team immediately and rest at home. Cancellation/abandonment fees have been waived during this time until further notice, so you will not incur a charge for abandoning your confirmed booking if it’s on the grounds of coronavirus exposure. Simply contact our team and we’ll help you to cancel or reschedule.
Hygiene is of the utmost importance to ensure the protection of ourselves and those around us. Please follow instructions outlined by the Australian Government Health Department, including:
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Use an alcohol-based (at least 60%) hand sanitiser when soap and water is not available.
Sneeze or cough into a tissue or your elbow, not your hands. Dispose of any used tissues properly.
Disinfect surfaces before and after use - including objects you may not have considered in the past (e.g. door knobs, light switches, railings).
For bookings that go ahead, please ensure you follow strict hygiene standards as outlined here.
What we’re doing to help you get back on track in a post-COVID world.
We know this period puts extra pressure on your finances & livelihood, as it does for everyone. You’ve probably already noticed how quiet it has been for bookings for the past week or so. We’re working tirelessly to ensure the impact on booking volumes (and therefore your earnings) is as small as possible. We are ensuring clients that we have additional safety measures in place and we are offering them discounts on future bookings in a post-COVID world to help them get back on track with their wellness program, and to help you get back on track financially as fast as possible.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us on 1300 420 188 or email@example.com. As always, my team and I are available from 8am to midnight, 7 days a week.
Blys will continue to monitor the situation with guidance from respected global health organisations and various Australian government organisations, and look for new ways we can better serve our community in these challenging times.
We’re all in this together. We will get through this.
Ilter Dumduz, Founder & CEO