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Confusion over NSW Government’s reopening vaccination rulings for gyms and fitness centres

Confusion over NSW Government’s reopening vaccination rulings for gyms and fitness centres
October 9, 2021

Confusion is surrounding the NSW Government’s advice on who can be part of fitness facilities’ outdoor exercise classes as of the state lockdown easing on Monday.

7NEWS has reported “a mistake in a NSW Health order that informed gyms they could run outdoor classes for customers who haven’t been double-dosed with the COVID vaccine”.

NSW Health has reportedly now withdrawn that advice.

As part of Monday’s lockdown lifting with the state having reached a 70% vaccination rate among adult, gyms, indoor recreation and sporting facilities can reopen with density limits and up to 20 people in classes.

However, that ruling is only for those who fully-vaccinated.

Sydney newspaper The Daily Telegraph advised that a NSW Health helpline had mistakenly given advice to gyms that they could host groups of unvaccinated members outdoors.

As a result, a number of Sydney gyms are understood to have told non-vaccinated members could also train in a group outdoors.

Fit4All gym owner Milton Karavas said turning away unvaccinated members would put a financial strain on his business and he was also concerned about the risk of legal action against him for discrimination.

Karavas told The Daily Telegraph “the anti-discrimination act is pretty clear, you cannot discriminate against somebody for their gender, their race whatever reason, but now they are telling us to discriminate.

“Something that has come from the legal advice … is if we do open, and we do discriminate, are we going to be supported by the (NSW) Government?”

From Monday, indoor pools in Greater Sydney can open for not only swimming lessons but also for squad training, lap swimming and rehabilitation activities; indoor pools in regional NSW can remain open; and major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with one person per 4 metre², capped at 5,000 people.

Children’s Indoor Sport and Activities
While the changed NSW Government roadmap will allow children to attend for swimming lessons and squad training and will allow young people aged under 16 (whether vaccinated or not) to visit indoor venues with members of their household, no guidance has been given on children and youth participating in indoor sporting activities such as gymnastics, martial arts and competitions.

Australasian Leisure Management is making further inquiries on this.

Readers with advice or information on this can email: leisure@ausleisure.com.au

Images: Confusion surrounds the NSW Government’s advice on who can be part of fitness facilities’ outdoor exercise classes as of the state lockdown easing on Monday (top, credit: Siletn Fitness) and Black Label Fitness on Sydney's Northern Beaches prepares for reopning (below).

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7th October 2021 - NSW Premier Perrottet announces further lockdown easing with more pool activities set to be allowed

7th October 2021 - Exerp explains inclusion of government mandates in fitness clubs’ reopening processes

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6th October 2021 - Viva Leisure experiencing share price rebound as it looks forward to facility reopenings

4th October 2021 - Revised NSW reopening roadmap will see early opening of indoor pools for lessons

1st October 2021 - Fitness Australia looking for guidance on vaccination requirements for reopening NSW gyms

30th September 2021 - FITREC gives fitness professionals option to show that they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19

30th September 2021 - NSW gyms set to reopen but indoor aquatic facilities to stay closed until December

28th September 2021 - Gym reopening in ‘a to vaccinate or not vaccinate’ world

16th September 2021 - ExerciseNZ’s Richard Beddie highlights that gyms and fitness centres are part of the COVID solution

14th September 2021 - Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish ‘perplexed’ by ongoing restrictions on operation of exercise facilities in regional Victoria

13th September 2021 - Aquatics and Recreation Institute charts sector’s roadmap to reopening

12th September 2021 - How confident can fitness businesses be in AI predictions?

9th September 2021 - Gyms, stadiums and recreation facilities to reopen to fully vaccinated adults as part of NSW’s new roadmap to ‘freedom’

8th September 2021 - Fitness Australia survey reveals NSW members against vaccine passports and staff vaccinations

3rd September 2021 - World Economic Forum study identifies fitness as the most popular physical activity globally

30th August 2021 - Jetts Fitness and Fitness Playground named among Best Places to work in Australia

19th August 2021 - Fitness clubs shut and with no ‘take away’ for 30% of days since March 2020

29th July 2021 - Fitness Australia advises of concessions achieved for gym reopenings


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