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Fourth COVID lockdown ‘a monumental kick in the guts’ for Victorian fitness operators

Fourth COVID lockdown ‘a monumental kick in the guts’ for Victorian fitness operators
May 28, 2021

Tim Schleiger, spokesperson for VIC Active, has taken issue with Victorian Government’s introduction of a seven-day stage three lockdown for the state in the wake of a number of Coronavirus cases.

Reminding members that fitness centres are COVIDSafe, Schleiger stated the “fourth COVID lockdown - re-badged as a ‘circuit breaker’ by the clever people in the Premier’s marketing team - is a monumental kick in the guts to all Victorians.”

In a statement, Schleiger advised “while we have transmission in the community, we need to be vigilant - but do we really need to lockdown? It is interesting that the NSW Premier does not think so!

“We have been here before and have had 15 months to find a way to live with this virus. After a fourth outbreak it is stating the obvious that our hotel quarantine system is sadly below par.

“There has not been one COVID case linked to a fitness centre in Victoria. The occasional gym has been an exposure site but so too have supermarkets, bottle shops, cafes and football grounds.

“Throughout this pandemic we have been telling a sorry story about the decline in physical and mental health of the millions of Victorians who have been deprived regular attendance at their fitness centres.

“The DHHS dismissed our data and yet the Government’s own budget announced last week was framed around a mental health catastrophe.

“We have demonstrated that we are COVIDSafe and that we were critical to the health and wellbeing of Victorians, using academically and scientifically collected evidence.

“It is testament to the strength and courage of the owners, managers and fitness professionals who are still in business and serving Victorians. VIC Active shares the comments of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Lord Mayor Sally Capp who are calling for the Victorian Government to support impacted businesses. There is no JobKeeper, no JobSeeker and no relief from the ATO during Lockdown 4.0.

“The regional fitness industry has been hit hard – demonstrated by the number of fitness centres that have been put up for sale and not to mention the number of staff that have left the industry due to the increasing lack of job security as a result of these continual lockdowns. This can’t keep happening!”

Schleiger added “VIC Active also asks all Victorians who are eligible for vaccination to step forward and do so. The media hysteria about vaccine complications is feeding anxiety in the community.

“Every vaccine has risks but at five in a 1,000,000 those risks are manageable.”

Images: Gym hygiene measures (top) and VIC Active spokesperson Tim Schleiger (below).

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

21st March 2021 - This Girl Can 2021 campaign supports Victorian women becoming active again following COVID

2nd March 2021 - VIC Active continues to highlight the safety of fitness centres

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

19th February 2021 - VIC Active calls on Victorian Government to fulfill its promise of financial assistance

23rd November 2020 - VIC Active questions remaining caps on Victorian gym operations

17th November 2020 - Fitness Australia Chief Executive questions why gyms must close but pubs can stay open

15th November 2020 - VIC Active calls for immediate unrestricted opening of Victoria’s gyms

4th November 2020 - VIC Active questions State Government’s motives for imposing continued restrictions on Victoria’s fitness industry

29th October 2020 - Fitness Australia advise that risk of infection in a gym is less than ‘one in a million’

16th October 2020 - Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish maintains calls for gyms to open in regional Victoria

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