Previous COVID-19 Updates

Access previous AMTA and industry-related COVID-19 updates. 

AMTA 2020 National Convention Canceled

April 28, 2020 

AMTA’s Board of Directors has decided, to keep our massage therapy community as safe as possible, to cancel our 2020 National Convention planned for August. We believe this is the best decision based on recommendations from healthcare experts, the unknown duration for social distancing, and hardships our community is facing at this time.

This is a difficult decision, and we will miss gathering with all of you in Phoenix this year.

While we cannot be together in person right now, we are committed to providing the massage therapy community with news and information around COVID-19 and financial relief for the profession, and continuing education opportunities. We have an expansive free CE library to help massage therapists access required CE hours for free during this time.

We look forward to bringing everyone together again for the next AMTA 2021 National Convention in Tampa, Florida August 26-28, 2021 to celebrate the massage therapy profession.

AMTA Events Update

April 20, 2020

During these challenging times, AMTA is working to keep everyone in the profession updated on the current information surrounding COVID-19. The health and wellness of our AMTA community is our top priority. 

Based on the latest guidance from the CDC and other federal health officials, we have decided to cancel all AMTA face-to-face meetings, classes and gatherings through August 30. We realize that AMTA national and chapter events are opportunities for our members to gather together and take continuing education or receive community support. However, to ensure the safety of our members, we have decided to cancel these in-person events.

AMTA’s Board of Directors has now approved amendments to bylaws and policy through emergency provisions set forth in Delaware Law. These temporary changes allow AMTA chapters to conduct their annual spring meetings online instead of in-person. Chapter elections may also be conducted in this manner (if applicable).

Additional details will be sent as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact your local chapter or you can reach out to

AMTA is proactively monitoring the ever-changing landscape surrounding the COVID-19 crisis. As the situation unfolds, we will let you know if there are any changes to the status of our National Convention or future chapter events.

And, we will keep our AMTA community updated with the latest news and resources to help you through this uncertain time. We are all in this together.

Unemployment Insurance Update

Guidance for Massage Therapists

April 8, 2020 

AMTA is continuing to work with federal and state agencies regarding the CARES act, and how all massage therapists can tap into the new financial resources.

We understand that many of you have concerns about the unemployment portion of the federal stimulus package. Please visit our Financial Relief Resources page for updates on what we know about unemployment insurance at this time.

Financial Relief Resources

March 27, 2020 

AMTA’s Government Relations team has been reaching out to federal, state and local governments about the need for financial assistance for all massage therapists. We will be updating the Financial Relief Resources page with these efforts, along with additional resources to help you navigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

MBLEx and National Certification Exam Updates

March 20, 2020 

The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB)

The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards has announced that Pearson Vue has closed all locations for MBLEx testing and will not increase exam fees as previously announced.

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)

The National Certification Board has announced that all US and Canadian testing locations for the Board Certification exam are closed from March 18 through May 1. Click here for FAQs from the testing center, Prometric.

Support Economic Efforts To Help The Massage Therapy Industry, Severely Impacted By COVID-19

March 19, 2020 

Please read the letter below in which we are asking all massage therapists, along with our industry and organizational partners, to take a moment and contact your individual U.S. representative and U.S. senators to express support for economic relief and aid for the massage therapy profession and small businesses, schools and independent contractors across the United States.

Dear AMTA Family,

The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us, including the massage industry. By now, many of you are facing a new reality that immediately affects your employment, education, and businesses. State and federal guidelines regarding closures and definitions of social distancing have been changing by the hour, and AMTA is committed to bringing you the most up-to-date information, guidance and advocating on your behalf.

AMTA is working with state and federal government/agencies to help, where we can, to minimize the short and long-term impacts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all in this together, so we are asking all massage therapists, along with our industry and organizational partners, to take a moment and contact your individual U.S. representative and U.S. senators to express support for economic relief and aid for the massage therapy profession and small businesses, schools and independent contractors across the United States.

Federal legislation has passed, and other legislation has been proposed and is being considered which would provide varying forms of relief and aid for self-employed/independent contractors and small businesses. We understand the hardships you, your families and your practices are experiencing as a result of COVID-19 and are striving to have the full massage therapy industry recognized in any possible legislative solutions.

Please join the industry in advocating for all massage therapists and our schools during these uncertain times and take action through clicking on the button below and submitting the following letter to your members of Congress.

Thank you for your support of massage therapy. Stay safe, stay healthy!


COVID-19 Update

An Important Message From Your AMTA Board of Directors  

March 17, 2020 

These are certainly challenging and unprecedented times we’re facing, with many unknowns ahead. Every day the CDC and public health officials recommend or impose stricter guidance to lessen the spread of COVID-19. We are closely tracking the rapidly evolving guidelines with the aim of keeping our members up-to-date, and we recognize how unsettling this situation is for all of you.

Extreme measures have been taken across many countries, states, communities, businesses and professions to create social distancing in an effort to flatten the curve of infection.

Yesterday afternoon federal health officials announced a new initiative, 15 Days to Slow the Spread. The stated goal of this plan is to “get ahead” of the virus spreading and “flatten the curve” so hospital systems’ capacities are able to handle the expected number of infected individuals. The common thread is to create greater “social distance” between as many people as possible, regardless of current health status.

What do we all need to know?

  • COVID-19 can spread from person-to-person and from various surfaces and objects to a person.
  • The time between exposure and symptoms ranges from 2-14 days.
  • The virus is contagious prior to symptoms presenting.
  • The virus is spreading easily and sustainably in many communities in the U.S. and abroad.

Where do you fit as a massage therapist?

Unfortunately, how massage therapists fit in the ever-changing guidance is not always clear. Taking into account what is known about COVID-19 and the massive efforts and sacrifices being made by millions of people across the country to protect themselves, their families, their neighbors and strangers, we ask that every massage therapist evaluate their practice of massage and how it fits into these efforts and any direction given by national, state or local health officials.

AMTA does not have the authority to stop you from practicing massage, but firmly believes massage therapists should be part of the solution and do no harm. At this time, we believe the best way that therapists can contribute to the solution is by only practicing massage that is medically necessary and by supporting the recent federal guidelines as outlined in the 15 Days to Slow the Spread initiative thru at least March 31.

What makes our profession so amazing is its diversity. It is that same diversity that is making these decisions so difficult for therapists across the country. For those who choose to practice, please stay current with the constantly changing information from CDCWHO and your local health officials

Please know that we understand how difficult this decision is and the financial impact this may have on you. With that in mind, AMTA’s Government Relations Team is working to help champion unemployment benefits and Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance for massage therapists, and we’ll keep you abreast of those efforts in the days and weeks ahead.

Your health and the health of our community is our top priority. We’re here for you, and we will get through this tough time together. We are dedicated to updating you daily on this ever-changing situation and will continue to keep you informed on developments related to massage and COVID-19.

Focus on Your Health and Safety

March 4, 2020 

The health and wellness of our members and the clients you serve are the highest priority for AMTA. We know that many of our members, and others in the massage therapy profession, have concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and what precautions they need to take. The cold and flu season is also a good reminder that massage therapists should make sure they are practicing proper sanitation, hygiene and standard precautions at all times in their massage locations.  Precautions protect both you and your clients.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention provides the latest information about the Coronavirus and prevention. An important first step is to check for regular updates on the CDC website

For your personal protection, the CDC recommends that everyone follow these simple approaches to self-care:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. (It is a contraindication for you to provide massage is if a client has symptoms of a cold or the flu. This may be a good opportunity to look at your appointment cancellation policy.)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using an appropriate cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.

Stay safe and healthy.