Latest News

Back to Latest News back


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

28th October 2020 - 9th November reopening for Victoria gyms but with COVIDSafe restrictions

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

27th October 2020 - No crowds for 2020 Melbourne Cup

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’

8th September 2020 - New body to advocate for the reopening of fitness centres in Victoria

7th September 2020 - Victorian Chief Health Officer’s comments ‘devastating’ to gym owners

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

@leisure Planners

@leisure is a team of experienced leisure, aquatic and sports facility managers and planners, with market modelling, sports management, recreation planning, business and GIS qualifications. We have…

read more




About Priava's Technology -  Priava is a cloud-based and centralised venue and event management system aimed at venues of all sizes. With its familiar and easy-to-use web interface, the…

read more

Attractions / Billing / Entertainment / Events / Technology


Altitude Training Systems

ATS are global leaders in altitude training and research. From mask systems and inflatable tents to simulated altitude facilities, we help all athletes gain the competitive edge. Our…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology


Felton Industries

Felton Industries is Australia’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of quality outdoor furniture and has been supplying premium seating solutions for all sporting, commercial, community…

read more

Parks / Play / Recreation / Sport / Venues



Over the past 10 years Debitsuccess has been providing expert billing services to businesses across Australia. Debitsuccess is now the largest full service direct debit provider in Australasia,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Golf / Recreation


The Jump Pad

The Jump Pad is a safe, flat inflatable made in a variety of sizes which can be used indoor or outdoor. From 3mx3m up to a whopping 9mx21m. Markets include Indoor and outdoor playgrounds, schools,…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Play


Smart Connection Consultancy

Smart Connection Consultancy is a boutique sport and recreation consultancy who has become one of Australia’s leading advocates for the use of synthetic sports surfaces as a vehicle to grow…

read more

Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business