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Melbourne gyms face new round of closures amid new Victorian lockdown

Melbourne gyms face new round of closures amid new Victorian lockdown
July 16, 2021

With Melbourne facing its latest Coronavirus related lockdown, indoor exercise facilities including aquatic centres, gyms and sporting arenas are again facing new closures.

Responding to the new lockdown, VIC Active, the lobby group representing the owners of around 500 fitness centres around the state, has issued a statement advising “it gives VIC Active no joy to remind Victorians that we have been predicting multiple long-term lockdowns since the start of 2021.”

The statement, which also suggests that Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton be removed from his role, continues “we acknowledge that lockdowns do play a fundamental role in limiting the spread of the virus.”

However, the body has also question the advice and processes driving the lockdown decision, stating “there is no transparency, no consultation and, in most cases, businesses are left without support funding from the Commonwealth or state governments.

“Industries, including ours, report meaningful dialogue with their relevant ministers only to have their agreed plans overruled by the Chief Health Officer.”

Questioning whether Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is receiving the best medical advice, the VIC Active statement argues “that by chasing one goal - a zero number (of Coronavirus cases) - that health advice is completely disregarding other key health indicators which are all heading in the wrong directions.

“These include the deterioration in the physical and mental health of Victorians - the lag in cancer check-ups, the rampant increase in conditions like obesity, diabetes, liver disease and chronic heart disease and to echo comments by the Premier and other senior ministers, Victoria is currently in the midst of a mental health catastrophe.”

The VIC Active statement continues “by all means chase a low infection numbers but surely it’s time to bring some balance to these lockdown deliberations. And surely its time to let fitness centres in regional Victoria operate when most of the state has operated with zero infections for more than 12 months.

“COVID has been a capital city problem.

“VIC Active reminds you that fitness centres are COVIDSafe - we practice social distancing, have first rate contact tracing systems and sanitise equipment after each use. Since COVID hit our shores, not one case originated from a professionally operated fitness centre in Australia.

“We think it is time that the fitness industry is classified as ‘essential’ and thereby giving us that same status as first responders and other accepted life-saving industries.”

The statement concludes that VIC Active remains concerned that unless the Victorian Government “frees itself of CHO Sutton’s reckless thinking we will suffer ongoing lockdowns”.

Related Articles

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3rd July 2021 - Fitness Australia invites input on industry trends survey

24th June 2021 - Technogym updates digital resources to aid restart of fitness clubs

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

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

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

26th May 2021 - New global research highlights role of technology in the fitness industry

9th June 2021 - Fitness Australia and Vic Active demand exercise facilities be allowed to open in regional Victoria

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

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

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

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

5th July 2021 - Y NSW commits to community connection during Greater Sydney COVID lockdown

30th June 2021 - State lockdowns sees all 18 AFL clubs relocate to Victoria

25th June 2021 - COVID lockdowns delay opening of Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Yawa Aquatic Centre

9th June 2021 - Lockdown easing allows brothels to reopen in regional Victoria under same terms as gyms, aquatic facilities and entertainment venues

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