Fitness facilities should consider the key areas when planning physical re-opening and what is appropriate for their business and physical site. These considerations will vary based on the unique attributes of each fitness facility.
In addition to the National Fitness Industry Code of Practice, the key areas of consideration should include:
- General Operations
- Social Distancing
- Contact Tracing
It's important to note when addressing these considerations, changes to business operations could be long term (e.g. 6-18 months) requirements to ensure containment of COVID-19 within the community.
In addition to ensuring compliance with the current federal, state and local legislation, the following issues should be considered to ensure best practice within your fitness facility.
- What is the new check-in process for staff and customers to mitigate the risk of transmission (i.e. they don’t have symptoms or are supposed to be in quarantine) and ensure they understand the new facility rules?
- Do you require high-risk individuals, as defined by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, to attain a medical clearance prior to entry?
- Are members aware of time limits on using the facility?
- What staff training in line with procedural changes and customer service is required?
- Which staff members will you bring back on board to fill required roles, and how will you communicate any changes to their responsibilities or roles?
- Are there any services you have implemented during closure (e.g. virtual training) that you will continue after you reopen?
- How are these messages communicated to members and staff?
- Does your membership terms or contract need to be updated to reflect a change in service?
- How will your facility limit the number of people in the facility at any one time to comply with social distancing requirements, and how will this be monitored and enforced? Items to be considered:
i. Reservation requirements for classes or entry to the facility
ii. Rooms or areas to be off-limits (e.g. lounges)
iii. Consider entry and exit points to the facility and individual rooms
10. How will you manage social distancing in the following spaces?
i. Reception/waypoints/entrance areas and associated signage and general frequent touchpoints
ii. Group exercise and possible floor markings
iii. Cardio areas including breathing direction
iv. Gym space and positioning of equipment
v. Change rooms and services within
vi. Staff rooms/offices
- What are the new cleaning/waste management protocols?
- Will PPE such as face masks and/or gloves be available for staff?
- What additional cleaning/PPE products are required?
- What are the hot spots/high touchpoints e.g. door handles?
- How often will staff clean machines and surfaces?
- Are additional cleaning stations required?
- How will you clean group exercise studios between classes, if you offer them?
- What is a sufficient amount of time to diligently clean equipment and touchpoints between classes?
- How are you reporting cleaning?
- Do you need to engage professional cleaners more regularly?
- How will you communicate this with members to ensure compliance?
- Are there any hard to clean items within your facility that may be regularly shared or touched by staff or members? Consider turning off water bubblers, saunas and steam rooms
23. How will you ensure appropriate contact tracing of your staff and members?
i. Member only access
ii. Knowing the duration of member/casual visits.
iii. Reservation requirements
iv. Recommendation activation of COVIDSafe app for staff and members
24. What are the procedures to refer to authorities with member access logs and permitted contact details for the purposes of contact-tracing with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19?
Extra resources for consideration
Safe Work Australia, 2020
- COVID-19 Information for workplaces: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/covid-19-information-workplaces
- Resource Kit: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/collection/covid-19-resource-kit
Australian Government, Department of Health 2020
- Environmental cleaning and disinfection principles for COVID-19: https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/03/environmental-cleaning-and-disinfection-principles-for-covid-19.pdf
- COVID-19 infection control training: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/covid-19-infection-control-training
- COVIDSafe app: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/covidsafe-app
- The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee recommended special provisions be applied to vulnerable people in the workplace: https://www.health.gov.au/news/australian-health-protection-principal-committee-ahppc-advice-to-national-cabinet-on-30-march-2020
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