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Highlighting safety of gym visits Vic Active says Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has ‘got it wrong’

Highlighting safety of gym visits Vic Active says Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has ‘got it wrong’
June 8, 2021

Industry advocacy group Vic Active has today highlighted that visits to the gym are safe, countering the view of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer (CHO) Brett Sutton who has forced the closure gyms and fitness centres because he says they are high risk settings.

In a statement Vic Active points to its figures that show there have been 6.8 million gym visits in Victoria since November 2020, with zero COVID cases linked to these visits.

Advising that “CHO Sutton has got it wrong - fitness centres have always been COVIDSafe - he thinks airborne transfer will occur when people are exercising indoors”, the statement continues “unlike CHO Sutton we can table data that supports our position that shows gyms are COVIDSafe.

“6,800,000 gym visits have occurred since November 2020 - there have been ZERO cases linked to gyms.

“CHO Sutton fails to recognise the utter devastation that he is inflicting on the Victorian community for no valid reason.

“Victoria is suffering a physical and mental health catastrophe and the worst is still to come.

“By keeping gyms closed CHO Sutton is wilfully negligent in his duty to care for the well-being of Victorians or just plain incompetent. Fitness centres offer Victorians a place to exercise, challenge themselves and seek mental stimulation.

“For many people, it is their social network!

“Today is the 14-day milestone for the six gyms that were listed as transmission sites by the CHO at the start of Lockdown 4.0. Because of the world’s best practice safety measures already in place at our venues we have ensured the ‘Beast’ did not threaten our staff, our patrons or our community.

Temporarily closing gyms in northern suburbs of Melbourne (a la ‘Sydney style’ management) is one thing - but to close the entirety of metro Melbourne and regional Victoria is an absurd joke.

“Under Lockdown 4.0, CHO Sutton has allowed Victorians to go the bottle shop, get a tattoo, a facial or botox injections or take a sauna as long as one wears a mask. But they can’t go the gym!

“It’s time Mr Merlino - as Acting Premier it’s time to call it. We need a Chief Health Officer who will act in the holistic interests of all Victorians.

“Are you prepared to sit and watch as the mental and physical health catastrophe unfolds on your watch?”

Vic Active suggests three things that professionals, stakeholders and the public can do to support local fitness centres:

  • 1. Like and promote Fitness Australia and VIC Active’s social media platforms.
  • 2. Click on this link to find your local MP and call or email their office and ask what they are doing to support the reopening of your fitness centre.
  • 3. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay active.

VIC Active represents the owners of around 500 fitness centres around Victoria. Fitness centres employ over 40,000 professionals around the State and more than 1,000,000 Victorians identify as a member of a fitness centre.

Image credit: Flow Athletic/Aeris Active.

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4th June 2021 - Fitness Australia asks why Victoria’s Chief Health Officer is again targeting gyms

3rd June 2021 - Victorian lockdown impacts the aquatic industry

2nd June 2021 - Melbourne’s stage three lockdown to be extended for another week while restrictions to ease in regional Victoria

1st June 2021 - Victorian lockdown leads to fitness industry losses in excess of $10 million

31st May 2021 - Bendigo gym returns to online classes through Victoria’s latest Coronavirus lockdown

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

27th May 2021 - Fitness Australia urges locked down Victorians not to forget the importance of physical activity

27th May 2021 - Victoria Government announces seven-day lockdown

23rd April 2021 - Perth’s snap three-day lockdown sees closure of aquatic centres, gyms and theatres while sport to proceed without fans

12th April 2021 - Australian Institute of Fitness supports Industry Technology Summit

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

19th March 2021 - Eco Gym Wipes offer sustainable option for hygiene in gyms and fitness centres

12th February 2021 - Fitness Australia disappointed at NSW Government’s easing of restrictions for all indoor venues except gyms

4th January 2021 - Fitness Australia calls for Federal government to introduce national plan to improve physical activity rates

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

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

12th October 2020 - Fitness Australia provides update on meeting with Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer

8th October 2020 - Fitness Australia releases research showing impact of lockdown gym closures

25th September 2020 - Fitness Australia asserts there is no clear evidence gyms spread COVID -19

21st September 2020 - Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish to meet with Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer to urge gym reopening

6th September 2020 - Fitness Australia challenges Victorian Chief Health Officer’s assertion that gyms ‘cause outbreaks’

30th August 2020 - Fitness Australia calls for Victorian Government to reclassify health and fitness facilities as an ‘essential service’ 

9th June 2020 - Flow Athletic announces gym hygiene partnership


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