With COVID-19 restrictions being eased across Australia, the fitness industry has today released a robust operations framework, developed to ensure gyms and exercise facilities understand what they need to do to safeguard the health and safety of members and employees.
Fitness Australia, the industry’s peak body, has been working with government health departments, industry stakeholders and international counterparts, including UK Active, IHRSA, Exercise NZ and utilising resources from the World Health Organisation, to develop a comprehensive framework for the safe reopening of gyms.
Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish said the industry has put the comprehensive framework in place to provide gym users and the broader community with the confidence and comfort that fitness facilities are a COVID safe environment.
“Gyms can be a COVID safe environment when strict measures are enforced to protect the health and safety of members and employees. While we are advising all our members to check with their state government requirements, Fitness Australia has gone one step further and developed a robust framework that goes beyond the standard considerations,” Mr Elvish said.
“Our framework includes a range of guidelines from high frequency cleaning and sanitation, spacing of equipment through to contact tracing, personal training and group fitness recommendations to ensure physical distancing can be enforced.”
The operations framework is part of Fitness Australia’s COVID Safety Plan which has been endorsed by industry leaders across the sector and Occupational and Environment Physician Dr Andrea James MBBS FAFOE(RACP) FRACGP GDOEH.
“Providing a safe fitness environment will make an essential contribution to keeping community transmission of COVID-19 cases as low as possible and will support the overall wellbeing of Australians,” Dr James said.
“Fitness Australia’s framework has been designed to provide facilities with an understanding of how they can manage the risks associated with COVID-19. The recommendations are aligned with public health directives, evidence-based and follow a risk-mitigation model.”
The Fitness Australia COVID Safety Plan framework is available at fitness.org.au/covidsafe and provides general considerations for all businesses and operators in the fitness industry. The COVID Safety Plan Checklist will be provided exclusively to Fitness Australia members by the end of May.