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Fitness Australia shares clarification on what constitutes a gym
Fitness Australia has today received clarification regarding the classification of gyms in relation to closures enforced from midday on 23rd March 2020.
Fitness Australia advise this clarification means all gym services, such as personal training, operated from an indoor facility as well as outdoor areas connected to an indoor facility must also abide by the order.
The Public Health (COVID-19 Places of Social Gathering) Order 2020, issued on 23rd March 2020 states all Recreation facilities (indoor) must close to the public where a “recreation facility (indoor) means a building or place used predominantly for indoor recreation, whether or not operated for the purposes of gain, including a squash court, indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, table tennis centre, health studio, blowing alley, ice rink or any other building or place of a like character used for indoor recreation.”
However, Fitness Australia Chief Executive Barrie Elvish noted that outdoor training in a park or open space could be an alternative option in addition to online workouts, provided it can be delivered locally and with the appropriate social distancing and strict health and hygiene practices in line with Fitness Australia’s guidelines implemented.
Elvish shared that “Fitness Australia has received advice from South Australia’s Health and Wellbeing Minister’s Office and Tasmania’s Sport and Recreation Minister’s Office that outdoor training is OK if social distancing and hygiene protocols are adhered to.
“The safety and wellbeing of our community remains our top priority and we are continuing to work with our members to ensure outdoor training is delivered within approved provisions.
Elvish said Personal Trainers (PTs) registered with Fitness Australia hold the scope of practice to deliver outdoor training safely as they adhere to the Outdoor Training Guidelines, which have been updated to include COVID-19 restrictions.
Elvishe advised that “people are still encouraged to train with their trainer outside. If your trainer is registered with Fitness Australia then they adhere to the relevant guidelines to ensure the safe delivery of outdoor training sessions.
“However, if you are unwell or are undertaking a mandated 14-day isolation period, do not leave your home.”
Fitness Australia is calling on all Councils across Australia to allow registered exercise professionals access to permits which would enable them to safely deliver outdoor training in a park or open space, with Elvish adding “we are calling on Councils to provide this support to exercise professionals, many of whom are sole traders, so they can continue to earn a living and provide a vital service to the community in terms of managing and maintaining mental and physical health.
“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 also 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.”
Article amended 7th April 2020, to remove a reference to one-on-one training where the information quoted may have been inaccurate.
18th March 2020 - Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish says ‘gyms do not need to close’
17th March 2020 - Fitness First highlights gym hygiene measures
11th March 2020 - Fitness Australia releases advice on Coronavirus
6th March 2020 - IHRSA publication seeks Fitness Industry support for Global Goals
30th April 2010 - Fitness Australia takes lead on council ‘sweat taxes’
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