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Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish says ‘gyms do not need to close’

Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish says ‘gyms do not need to close’
March 18, 2020

Following the Federal Government announcement that that non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people have been banned as a response to the Coronavirus crisis, Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish has advised “gyms do not need to close”.

Stating “it is our understanding that the 100-person limit for static indoor gatherings applies to the whole venue not individual rooms such as gym studios session rooms.

“However, we are currently seeking clarification on this and will provide further information once available.”

Elvish went on to say “based on today’s Government announcement regarding these additional measures for social distancing, we recommend reducing or capping class sizes to limit internal number and ensure more space between members, creating more space between treadmills and other equipment by either removing or switching off every second piece of equipment.

“We know additional cleaning and other facility-based measures are already in place. However, continuous clear communication to your gym members about practicing safe and hygienic workouts continues to be of utmost importance.

“All facility hygiene measures and member communication about hygienic practices while attending the gym should be clearly visible throughout the facility and communicated verbally to all members frequently.

“Maintaining our physical and mental health during these worrying times is significantly important.

“As an industry, the role we can play in ensuring people feel safe to continue to be active during these unprecedented circumstances is vital.

“Fitness Australia is currently advocating for gyms to be considered essential services due to the important role regular and consistent exercise has on an individual’s immune system and their overall physical and mental health.

“While it is important to keep people active, it is also imperative we continue to show leadership and ensure all facilities are implementing self-distancing measures and robust hygiene practices to ensure the continued safety of the more than four million gym members across Australia.”

Supporting sole traders in fitness
Following last week’s Federal Government announcement of its Economic Stimulus Package, Fitness Australia has called for the package to be expanded to support the cash flow of sole traders

With the Economic Stimulus Package offering a tax free payment to boost cash flow for small to medium-sized businesses, Elvish noted that this has not been extended to sole traders despite them also facing the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elvish commented “I urge the Prime Minister and Treasurer to extend the cash flow support offered to businesses to the nation’s sole traders.

“Registered trainers and instructors are a valuable public health resource and an essential component in helping more Australians move, more often. With over 10,000 of Fitness Australia’s registered trainers and instructors being sole traders and ABN holders, it is crucial that they are financially supported to remain in business and continue to support the physical health and wellbeing of their communities.”

“It’s critical now more than ever that Australians have access to a professional and diverse workforce to support a healthy lifestyle.”

Click here to read Fitness Australia’s letter to the Prime Minister on behalf of and its members.

For fitness industry information on COVID-19 go to

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17th March 2020 - LPA calls for $850 million live performance support and stimulus package

17th March 2020 - Fitness First highlights gym hygiene measures

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16th March 2020 - Chief Medical Officer says going to cinemas and gyms is ‘low risk’ during Coronavirus outbreak

14th March 2020 - WOW Wipes report increased orders during Coronavirus crisis

13th March 2020 - Gyms focus on hygiene measures to reassure members through Coronavirus crisis

12th March 2020 - Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces $18 billion economic stimulus package

11th March 2020 - Fitness Australia releases advice on Coronavirus

9th March 2020 - Hygiene essential in fitness facilities reassuring members over Coronavirus fears

3rd March 2020 - Fitness Australia to visit award finalists of OneMusic sponsored Community Exercise Program

24th February 2020 - Finalists announced for 2020 Australian Fitness Awards

19th February 2020 - Fitness Australia and InsideOut Institute co-launch National Eating Disorder Recommendations

31st January 2020 - Coronavirus declared global health emergency by World Health Organization

6th January 2020 - Les Mills suggests the top 10 fitness trends for 2020

5th January 2020 - Pilates 100-year journey to be a global fitness phenomenon

6th December 2019 - Fitness Australia business members rank ‘Exercise is Medicine’ as the hottest industry trend for 2020

19th November 2019 - Fitness Australia announce the election of three new members to its Board of Directors

16th October 2019 - Fitness Australia endorses Sport Australia’s Position Statement on Physical Literacy

8th April 2018 - IBISWorld shows that 24/7 budget gyms have transformed Australian fitness

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