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Chief Medical Officer says going to cinemas and gyms is ‘low risk’ during Coronavirus outbreak

Chief Medical Officer says going to cinemas and gyms is ‘low risk’ during Coronavirus outbreak
March 16, 2020

Amid fears over the spread of Coronavirus and evolving health advice from the Government, Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy has said it is currently "low risk" to workout at the gym or go to the movies.

Appearing on ABC's Insiders program on Sunday, Professor Murphy said the Federal Government was currently recommending all travellers returning from overseas practice social distancing, including avoiding all public gatherings, not standing within 1.5 metres of people and not shaking hands.

He said those who had not been in contact with a known case or returned from overseas could keep shaking hands, going to the movies and the gym.

Professor Murphy said "the move to reduce mass gatherings is a pre-emptive move.

"I think the gym is fine (but) everybody at the moment needs to practise very good hygiene.

"If you're going to the gym, I would be very focused on hand washing, using hand sanitisers, all of those social distancing, good hygiene measures."

He said Australians should only get tested for Coronavirus if they have recently travelled overseas and are showing symptoms, or if they have been in contact with someone who had tested positive.

Industry association Fitness Australia stresses that people don’t need to avoid the gym due to concerns over the Coronavirus.

In a statement released yesterday, advised its members, 3,500 fitness facility providers and almost 20,000 personal trainers and instructors, to follow appropriate hygiene practices as instructed by the World Health Organization and the Australian Government.

Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish advised “good health and wellness is the top priority for gyms. 

“We’re working closely through regular contact with our member gyms, personal trainers and instructors to encourage them to take proactive preventative measures to protect their fitness communities against exposure to the virus.  We’re also suggesting that they ensure additional signage and ask staff to model and encourage good habits with their customers including wiping down equipment before and after use, using their own towels to wipe their face and not coming to the gym if they aren’t feeling well. We are aware that some facilities are also making regular public announcements reinforcing these behaviours.”

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