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Industry plan prompts Queensland Government to allow fitness clubs to operate with more than 20 exercisers
The Queensland Government is to allow gyms and fitness clubs to operate with more than 20 exercisers after the state’s Chief Health Officer’s approval of an industry COVIDSafe Plan.
With Stage Two of easing of Queensland’s Coronavirus restrictions having been scheduled to begin on 12th June, the reopening of gyms has already been accelerated with facilities able to operate since midday on Monday with a maximum of 20 people in each section.
Now, with Fitness Australia’s Industry COVIDSafe Plan approved by the Chief Health Officer, indoor fitness facilities gyms can apply to health authorities to have more than 20.
In addition, from 10th July, facilities can welcome up to 100 people.
Advising that under the plan more people will be able to be in gyms while adhering to strict social distancing and hygiene guidelines, Queensland Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles today stated “physical activity plays such an important role in the lives of Queenslanders. This approved plan will ensure we can all get back to the gym in a safe way.
“The plan helps gyms, fitness centres and health clubs demonstrate that they operate safely and can service more customers than outlined in the current roadmap.”
Queensland Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni said fitness businesses wanting to exceed current limits of 20 people on site will be required to comply with the approved industry plan, while still maintaining required social distancing, adding “the approval of the industry plan is a great result for the fitness sector who really just want to get back to the business of providing facilities and training for Queenslanders looking to keep fit.
“Even the biggest branded gyms are typically owned by small and family business operators who collectively employ more than 8,000 Queenslanders, so getting them up and running and their staff back to work again is an important step in our economic recovery.”
Welcoming the Queensland Government’s acceptance of its Industry Plan, Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish stated “preparing the industry plan allowed us to consider aspects needed to continue to keep ourselves and our communities safe when we return to gyms.
“We know that we’re not out of the woods yet when it comes to COVID-19, so we’ll continue to work with the Chief Health Officer to make sure our plan is feasible and safe as we move forward.
“Fitness Australia will be supporting fitness operators with the steps they need to take to keep Queenslanders fit and healthy.”
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young, who approved the Fitness Industry COVIDSafe plan, noted “to have a COVIDSafe Industry Plan approved for the Queensland fitness sector is such an incredible achievement.
“This is a major boost for the fitness sector and one that will help Queenslanders maintain a healthier lifestyle.”
Aquatic facilities and sport
In related developments, from tomorrow (Friday 5th June) participants in sports such as AFL, football, rugby league and union and hockey in Queensland will be able to start training with their teams as a result of an agreement of an Industry COVIDSafe Plan for field sports.
In the following stage, starting Friday 10th July, competition can resume and up to 100 people can attend the sporting events.
Aquatic facilities can currently operate for up to 20 people and, from 10th July, 100 people. However, the imminent presentation Industry Plan for Swimming Pools and Aquatic Centres is expected to accelerate that process.
Explaining that the Industry COVIDSafe Plan for field sports had also received sign off, Minister de Brenni commented “whilst gyms have been the first cab off the rank with their COVIDSafe industry plan, Field sports have also received sign off to get back into action with arrangements that allow more people to get out onto the field safely.
“The remaining sport and recreation sectors can have confidence around the viability of their return to play arrangements which are currently under review.
“I want to commend the sport, recreation and fitness industry leadership, represented through the Palaszczuk Governments’ Return to Play Advisory Group for their collaboration with the Chief Health Office that will see the sign off on more COVIDSafe industry plans in coming days.”
More information for sport, recreation and fitness organisations can be found here www.covid19.qld.gov.au/returntoplay and at www.covid19.qld.gov.au/government-actions/roadmap-to-easing-queenslands-restrictions/sport
For further information for businesses on COVIDSafe plans are available on the Queensland Government COVID-19 website, covid19.qld.gov.au
Image courtesy of Les Mills.
4th June 2020 - Fitness First Australia announces reopening of all clubs
7th April 2020 - Two-thirds of the world’s fitness clubs are currently closed
31st May 2020 - Queensland opens up intrastate travel but borders to stay closed
20th March 2020 - Queensland Health advise public aquatic centres are ‘safe for swimming’
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