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Fitness Australia questions NSW Government’s ongoing restrictions on group exercise

Fitness Australia questions NSW Government’s ongoing restrictions on group exercise
November 8, 2021

With the NSW Government announcing further relaxations in COVID restrictions over the past week, Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish has welcomed the easing, advising that “NSW citizens are keen to get back to any kind of new normality after 20 months of uncertainty”.

However, with restrictions being eased for nightclubs but still applying to group fitness, Elvish has pointed out “while most relaxations were understandable and clearly the result of balancing risks with reward - one sticks out as being illogical: continued group exercise restrictions.”

In an open communication issued today, Elvish (pictured below) writes “it is counter intuitive that people can go back to indoor entertainment venues including nightclubs, where dancing is permitted in larger numbers, but group exercise classes remain restricted to only 20 people. 

“(So), let’s analyse the two contexts.

“Both settings require a two square metre social distancing; but that’s where the comparison ends. In a nightclub alcohol is readily available and, as the night progresses, it is safe to assume that social distance barriers will dissolve and, depending on the participants and their inhibitions, or not, physical contact will be prevalent. 

“Apart from a possible resident DJ the dance floor activities will also be unsupervised until the club closes many hours later.

“Now consider that environment with a group exercise class where there is no social contact, a safety motivation to maintain social distancing, no alcohol and the class is supervised from start to finish, approximately 45 minutes later.

“Imposing an unnecessary class/group size limitation on fitness, health and exercise facilities denies many individuals from their chosen exercise regime, with their friends, in an environment where all participants are double vaccinated and in facilities with the sole purpose to improve their mental and physical wellbeing.

“Even the most concerned Health official must acknowledge that group exercise is a significantly safer activity.”

Elvish concludes by asking NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet to explain.

Indoor Play Centres reopen in NSW  
Other lockdown easing in NSW, has seen, as of last Wednesday (3rd November), NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard signing an amendment to the Public Health Order allowing indoor play centres to reopen.

This amendment was effective immediately.

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3rd July 2021 - Fitness Australia invites input on industry trends survey

2nd July 2021 - Prime Minister Scott Morrison reveals four step plan to take Australia beyond the COVID-19 pandemic

9th June 2021 - Fitness Australia and Vic Active demand exercise facilities be allowed to open in regional Victoria

23rd March 2021 - Fitness Australia says industry ‘continues to strengthen’ 12 months since COVID-19 shutdowns

24th February 2021 - Fitness Australia welcomes NSW Government’s lifting of gym class numbers to 50 people

23rd February 2021 - Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish highlights the value of health

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

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