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Fitness Australia disappointed at NSW Government’s easing of restrictions for all indoor venues except gyms

Fitness Australia disappointed at NSW Government’s easing of restrictions for all indoor venues except gyms
February 12, 2021

With the NSW Government relaxing COVID-19 restrictions for indoor venues as of 12.01 am on Friday 12th February, Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish has expressed his disappointment that fitness clubs and gyms will not be allowed to increase capacity under the new 2 metre² rule.

Noting that the new state-wide easing of restriction was a fantastic step forward in the NSW Government’s handling of community transmission of the Coronavirus, Elvish said the still applying restrictions to gyms was not based on data or facts.

Expressing his frustrated that gyms had been singled out and excluded again, Elvish advised “we applaud the NSW Government on their handling of COVID-19 community transmission in recent months. We know gyms are safe but misinformation is still leading to our industry being singled out.

“Fitness Australia gyms and members have worked tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of all gym users and, as an industry, we have had less reported cases of members visiting facilities with COVID-19 and lower rates of community transmission than other industries such as hospitality.”

Explaining that gyms, fitness classes and other fitness studios provided a vital service and facility for people to look after their long-term health, mental health and wellbeing, Elvish added “the benefits of exercise on our health and wellbeing can not be underestimated. We accept the NSW Government’s position to keep gyms at 4 metre² but would like to see class sizes increases to allow for more people to access group exercise.

“We know increasing class sizes now is safe. This will allow more people to attend a class, rather than continue to miss out due to unreasonable and isolated rules.

“The data shows gyms and classes are safer than hospitality and entertainment.

“Like many businesses in NSW, Fitness Australia members are providing a safe and hygienic environment for people to exercise, train with a Personal Trainer or take a class.”

Fitness Australia has developed a comprehensive Framework for Safely Operating a Fitness Facility Under COVID-19 Restrictions, which has been rolled out Australia-wide. 

The robust framework is designed to provide guidance in managing risks associated with COVID-19 within fitness facilities in Australia, while providing gym users and the broader community with the confidence and comfort that fitness facilities have a COVID-19 safety plan in place.

Image: 'Distanced' fitness equipment at Anytime Fitness Forbes. Credit: Anytime Fitness Forbes.

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