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Fitness Australia calls for urgent government clarification around gym closures

Fitness Australia calls for urgent government clarification around gym closures
March 23, 2020

With safety still being the number one priority, Fitness Australia is calling on the Federal and state governments to provide further clarification to the fitness industry on today’s gym closures.

Fitness Australia Chief Executive Barrie Elvish said last night’s announcement has caused confusion within the industry given the many different types of facilities and services offered.

Elvish advised “we are urgently calling on the government to provide further clarification around what the gym closures mean for fitness services such as personal training and small studios, many of which are operated by sole traders.

“Our members have closed their facilities from midday today. However, it is still unclear if services offered within the fitness industry can continue to operate – for example can a Personal Trainer continue to train a client indoors in a 1:1 environment provided all social-distancing measures are in place? Or can these services only be offered outdoors?

“What is also still unclear is the timeframe for which gyms will be closed for.”

Fitness Australia has more than 3,500 business members and more than 19,000 fitness professionals who are directly impacted by today’s closures.

Elvish added “we are doing everything we can to support our industry and provide them with clear information.”

Continuing to be active, especially in isolation, is essential in maintaining a person’s health and mental wellbeing with Elvish highlighting that “keeping active during a time of isolation and uncertainty is extremely important for our mental health and as an industry it is our mission to ensure people can continue to exercise safely.”

Fitness Australia is continuing to advocate for gyms to be classified under the essential services category given their important role in managing and maintaining mental health and overall wellbeing.

Elvish noted “Fitness Australia wants to work with the government to put the right measures in place to allow gym operators to provide vital exercise opportunities for the community to maintain and manage their physical and mental health.”

Mel Tempest, franchisee at Genesis Health and Fitness Ballarat and presenter of the Gym Owners' Fitness Business Podcast, has started an online petition calling on the Federal Government to reconsider its ‘non-essential services’ definition that is seeing fitness centres close based on the role of gyms and fitness facilities in mental wellbeing.

Click here to view the petition.

Image courtesy of Fitness First

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