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South Australian second wave Coronavirus shutdown impacts gyms and recreational facilities

South Australian second wave Coronavirus shutdown impacts gyms and recreational facilities
November 16, 2020

With the state having reported 17 cases of community transmission today, South Australian Premier, Steven Marshall has announced that fitness centres, recreational facilities, trampoline arenas and play cafes will be closed for two weeks from tomorrow.

Premier Marshall revealed the restrictions today after South Australia reported 17 cases of Covid-19 connected to an outbreak from a quarantine hotel for returned travellers.

He advised “time is now the essence and we must act swiftly and decisively.

“We must act swiftly and decisively on the health advice to stay ahead of the game.”

The restrictions will also see the suspension of international flights into Adelaide while there will be a cap of 100 people at pubs, clubs and restaurants as the state moves to tackle a growing cluster of COVID-19 cases for the first time since April.

Condemning the decision to close activity and exercise facilities as “a knee-jerk reaction that is not based on any data or evidence”, Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish today stated “we appreciate keeping South Australians safe and healthy is a high priority, but gyms are not part of the problem. Closing gyms now is going to exacerbate South Australians’ sense of wellbeing

“Fitness Australia data shows the chance of being infected in a fitness facility in less than one in a million, or 0.00008% to be exact. A figure that is statistically insignificant and shows gyms are a safe environment to exercise.”

“We need to focus on the long-term health of all South Australians and to do that, we need to give people access to a COVIDSafe gym.

“It’s disappointing and totally illogical to see pubs and restaurants, which are known places for community transmission, are still allow to trade and welcome up to 100 people at a time. This decision flies in the face of international and national evidence.”

Questioning why gyms had been targeted to close rather than allow people to exercise at a safe distance, like they can when still enjoying a meal or beer, Elvish added “the SA Government has given us a blanket direction to close from midnight tonight, rather than consider the size and ability to socially distance.

“Why can’t the same one person per four metre² (rule) apply to our industry in the same way it has for hospitality, clubs and private gathering in a licensed venue?

“Let’s not forget either that, unlike any other sector, fitness facilities have the ability in the unlikely event of a member attending gym with COVID, to advise relevant health authorities within an hour of the names and contact details of every other person in the facility at the time and following the visitation period.

“Looking after our health has suddenly become less of a priority than catching up for a beer at the pub. We are urgently seeking a meeting with the Chief Public Health Officer and health authorities immediately to overturn this decision.”

Fitness Australia feels the closure is unnecessary, disappointing and counterproductive given the link between people’s mental health and wellbeing and exercise is indisputable.

Elvish cited recent member data showed across 1,270 national facilities more than 24 million visits had taken place since gyms reopened in all states and territories (excluding Victorian shutdowns) and during that time only 19 COVID cases had been linked to a fitness facility.

Oudoor fitness activities are unaffected by the measures and can continue to operate.

Lower image: Oudoor fitness activities, such as these being undertaken in the Adelaide Park Lands, are unaffected by South Australia's lockdown measures.

Related Articles

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

6th November 2020 - Australian gymgoers spend an average of $79 a month on memberships

11th November 2020 - Global Wellness Institute reports mental wellness to be a $121 billion market

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

22nd October 2020 - Fitness Australia applauds NSW Government’s relaxation of gym COVID Marshal measures

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

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

13th August 2020 - Fitness Australia counters ‘misinformation’ that suggests gyms are a hotspot for COVID-19

15th June 2020 - Fitness Australia calls for national consistency in state government gym reopenings

10th June 2020 - Fitness Australia releases new industry code of ethics

29th May 2020 - Fitness Australia releases Checklist to ensure gyms offer safe environments when reopening

23rd May 2020 - Fitness Australia says governments should put peoples’ health and wellbeing above a drink at the pub

8th May 2020 - Fitness Australia welcomes Federal Government’s Coronavirus relaxations that focus on importance of exercise

27th May 2013 - Adelaide City Council plan for a more active city and park lands

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