Fitness First Australia has advised that "in accordance with the revised COVID-19 regulations" it is to open all of its clubs.
In a Facebook post yesterday (3rd June) and in supporting information, the group advised that it will reopen its ACT clubs on 4th June and, subject to confirmation, in Queensland on 5th June.
The information also anticipated reopening in NSW on 13th June but provided no date for Victoria.
The Facebook post explained "the health and safety of our staff and members remains our top priority, and we will continue to maintain strict policies around hygiene, social distancing, cleaning and education programs across all clubs. We will also continue to offer hand sanitiser, and medical grade disinfectant for all members use.
"These measures will help ensure we’re maintaining a safe environment for everyone in our community."
Later advice clarified that "we aren't currently operating 24/7 clubs" and that "club (opening) hours have changed according to Government regulations."
With Fitness First predominantly offering ‘big box’ gyms, the business faces challenges in operating clubs where there are restrictions in place on numbers that can be in a particular facility or in specific spaces - based on persons per square-metre rules.
For example, in NSW no more than 100 people will be allowed in any one gym, but that cap will be lower in smaller locations.
One of a series of operational issues many fitness businesses will face relates to balancing member demand - bearing in mind restrictions - with operating costs.
Jetts Fitness, also a part of the Fitness and Lifestyle Group, reopened its clubs in Thailand this week.
Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.
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