Maintaining our physical and mental health during these worrying times is significantly important.
As an industry, the role we can play in ensuring people feel safe to continue to be active during these unprecedent circumstances is vital.
Fitness Australia is currently advocating for gyms to be considered essential services due to the important role regular and consistent exercise has on an individual’s immune system and their overall physical and mental health.
While it is important to keep people active, it is also imperative we continue to show leadership and ensure all facilities are implementing self-distancing measures and robust hygiene practices to ensure the continued safety of the more than four million gym members across Australia.
Following PM Scott Morrison’s statement earlier today, communication from the Department of Health has confirmed “Gyms, indoor fitness centres and swimming pools do not need to close at this time — as long as they follow social distancing advice and have good cleaning routines in place”*.
The Department of Health website also provides clarification around the 100-person limit for indoor gatherings, advising that an indoor gathering takes place in a single enclosed areas ie a single room or area. Therefore, this limit will not apply to the whole facility but rather gatherings, including workouts and classes taking place in a single enclosed area of the gym.
Based on today’s Government announcement regarding these additional measures for social-distancing and to ensure each facility is able to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres between people, Fitness Australia recommends to its network of 3,500 facility members and almost 20,000 personal trainers to reduce or cap class sizes to limit internal numbers and ensure more space between members, creating more room between treadmills and other equipment by either removing or ‘switching off’ every second piece of equipment.
Gyms have already implemented additional cleaning and other facility-based hygiene measures to ensure the safety of their members and staff. Continuous clear communication to gym members about practicing safe and hygienic workouts continues to be of utmost importance. If you are unwell, do not attend the gym.
Barrie Elvish, CEO of Fitness Australia
For more information, see our COVID-19 full reference guide here.