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Fitness Australia releases Checklist to ensure gyms offer safe environments when reopening
With gyms in some states already reopening as a result of the easing of Coronavirus restrictions, and operators in other states hoping that restrictions on their facilities will soon be lifted, Fitness Australia has released a safe reopening checklist, to help its members implement and follow industry best practice procedures to safeguard the health and safety of members and employees.
Advising that with the majority of gyms looking to reopen within the next few weeks and that the industry is aiming to ensure the safe reopening, and operation, of gyms right across the country, Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish advised “ensuring gym users and the broader community have the confidence and comfort that the fitness industry is doing everything required to ensure a safe exercise environment is our top priority.
“Gyms create a COVID safety environment when strict measures are enforced to protect the health and safety of members and employees from COVID-19. While we are advising all our members to check with their state government requirements, we have gone one step further and developed a Checklist that goes beyond the standard considerations.”
Fitness Australia’s COVID Safety Plan Checklist follows the release of the Framework for Operations in the Fitness Industry Under COVID-19 Restrictions earlier this month and is part of Fitness Australia’s COVID Safety Plan which has been endorsed by industry leaders across the sector and Occupational and Environment Physician Dr Andrea James MBBS FAFOE(RACP) FRACGP GDOEH.
The Framework for Operations in the Fitness Industry Under COVID-19 Restrictions is available to all businesses within the industry, while the Checklist is exclusively available to Fitness Australia members.
Fitness Australia members who complete the Checklist will have the opportunity to download and display COVID Safety Plan In Place branded assets to show they are adhering to strict industry reopening standards.
The lifting of Coronavirus restrictions across Australia is now set to see:
As of today, 29th May 2020, indoor gyms and fitness centres can begin a gradual reintroduction of their businesses. Small, supervised group sessions and classes indoors can recommence, with a maximum of 20 people to an enclosed space or one person per four metre². These businesses must complete a COVID Safe plan, observe strict hand hygiene requirements and ensure physical distancing as much as possible.
The ACT Government require no unsupervised free weight training or use of other gym equipment, and has the following restrictions on facility size:
Advice on when gyms in NSW can reopen has yet to be released.
Gyms in Queensland are expected to re-open as of 13th June, the date when the state is expected to enter stage two of the Federal Government’s recovery plan.
The reopening is expected to see gyms allowed to operate with up to 20 patrons at any time and will need to ensure thorough sanitisation of gym equipment, as well as social distancing during sweat sessions.
Currently, Queenslanders are allowed to partake in outdoor activities. Up to 10 people can play non-contact sports, attend out-door boot camps and group training sessions.
As of 12th June gyms will be able to operate a limit of 20 people (excluding staff) per room, while outdoor training groups will be permitted to operate with 20 people, plus an instructor.
24/7 (unstaffed) access will also be permitted to operate if:
1. The facility has the capacity to limit attendance to a maximum number of patrons allowed under the density requirement through use of an automated security entry/exit system
2. The facility can accurately track and report member attendance (including contact details as required by the direction) though the automated security entry/exit system
As of last weekend, the Victorian Government announced that from 22nd June, indoor fitness and recreation facilities will open with up to 20 people per space and up to 10 people per group or activity at any one time, if transmission rates remained low and testing remains high.
Gyms in Western Australia re-opened on 18th May for up to 20 people, as the state entered stage two of the recovery plan.
During this preliminary stage, patrons are being asked to bring as much of their own equipment as they can, such as yoga mats and boxing gloves.
Gyms will be avoiding the use of shared equipment during work-out sessions where possible and each business has been instructed to follow strict cleaning schedules to ensure that adequate disinfection is in place.
25th May 2020 - Viva Leisure prepares for gym reopenings
22nd May 2020 - Canberra gyms prepare for post Coronavirus reopening
22nd May 2020 - NSW Deputy Premier expects gyms to be open again by July
28th April 2020 - Facing up to the Fitness Industry’s post lockdown challenges
23rd April 2020 - Fitness Australia says gyms can safely reopen within strict framework
7th April 2020 - Two-thirds of the world’s fitness clubs are currently closed
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