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Fitness Australia advise that risk of infection in a gym is less than ‘one in a million’

Fitness Australia advise that risk of infection in a gym is less than ‘one in a million’
October 29, 2020

With the Victorian Government this week advising that the state’s gyms can reopen and operate with restrictions from 9th November, Fitness Australia has released new data that shows the chance of being infected in a fitness facility is a meagre 0.00008%.

Recent data from Fitness Australia members showed across 1,270 facilities more than 24 million visits had taken place since gyms reopened in other states and territories and during that time only 19 COVID cases had been linked to a fitness facility.

Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish commented “(the) data shows the chance of being infected in a fitness facility in less than 1 in a million, or 0.00008% to be exact. A figure that is statistically insignificant and shows gyms are a safe environment to exercise.”

Looking forward, Elvish advised “we need to focus on the long-term health of all Victorians now as the community starts to venture out and resume a sense of normal life.

“To do that, we need to enable more people access to a gym. The bigger the gym area, the higher the number of permitted people should be, all while still ensuring adherence to social distancing requirements.”

Elvish welcomed comments made by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews about engaging with the industry as it works through options to allow more people to exercise within a COVID-Safe environment, noting “we welcome the Premier’s comments … around engaging with the industry on reopening procedures.

“As the industry’s peak association, we are eager to work collaboratively with the government to show how gyms and other fitness facilities can safely host more than 20 people at one time due to their size and availability of separate spaces or zones.

“To put it into perspective some of the gyms across metro Melbourne are the size of a small Bunnings and to restrict the number to only 20 per facility, or at little as 10 if there is only one area, at any one time means for many gym owners and operators they will be opening at a loss. Gyms are COVID-Safe and large gyms can safely implement the required social distancing requirements outlined by the government this week.

“In contrast, by 9th November hospitality venues are permitted to have 40 people inside to enjoy a beer, in a space equivalent to an average two-bedroom apartment but when it comes to resuming exercise for health and wellbeing, the community is once again restricted to a maximum of 20 people in the whole facility, regardless of size or separate spaces. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Fitness Australia has successfully worked with authorities in every other Australian state and territory to implement robust COVID-Safe protocols and frameworks to ensure fitness facilities can operate safely and give people the confidence and peace of mind that their health and safety is a high priority.

Elvish went on to say “we know 92% of Victorian gym members want to return to the gym as soon as they reopen. That’s more than 800,000 people who will be trying to access a limited number of spaces at their local gym. The COVID-Safe plans we have successfully implemented in other states and territories focus on strict social distancing and hygiene requirements while allowing for greater numbers when a facility’s area permits that.

“Let’s not forget either that, unlike any other sector, fitness facilities have the ability in the unlikely event of a member attending gym with COVID, to advise relevant health authorities within an hour of the names and contact details of every other person in the facility at the time and following the visitation period.

“In Victoria, gyms are also happy to ask their members to wear a mask while exercising, a move that is possible in a gym but not so easy in a restaurant when socialising over a meal.”

Images: Cleaning at a Fitness First club (top, courtesy of Fitness First Australia) and Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish (below).

Related Articles

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28th October 2020 - VIC Active highlights more than 80% of fitness centres will operate at a loss under reopening plan

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27th October 2020 - Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews says Melbourne’s Coronavirus restrictions will ease from Wednesday morning

26th October 2020 - Victoria’s decimated Tourism Economy needs State Government funding of $1.3 billion

25th October 2020 - Easing of Coronavirus restrictions for Regional Victoria will allow gyms and indoor pools to reopen

19th October 2020 - Victorian Premier omits ‘high-risk’ gyms from state’s reopening plans

19th October 2020 - Victorian Government announces unwinding of Melbourne’s Coronavirus restrictions but with no easing for gyms

16th October 2020 - Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish maintains calls for gyms to open in regional Victoria

13th October 2020 - Vic Active continues to call for reopening of indoor fitness centres

12th October 2020 - Fitness Australia provides update on meeting with Victoria’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer

12th October 2020 - VicHealth and AFL encourage families to get active on way to school as restrictions lift

9th October 2020 - Victorian Aquatic Industry Alliance wants to see children back in the pool

28th September 2020 - No change to fitness centre restrictions as Victorian Government eases lockdown measures

21st September 2020 - Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish to meet with Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer to urge gym reopening

16th September 2020 - Victoria’s aquatic industry leaders call for clarity

15th September 2020 - Fitness industry disappointed gyms in regional Victoria cannot reopen under this week’s Coronavirus easing

9th September 2020 - 12RND Fitness’ Michael Jordan backs challenge to Victorian Chief Medical Officer’s comments that gyms are ‘high risk’

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