Fitness facilities treated the same as hospitality in latest reopening guidelines.

While news that large parts of New South Wales will remain in strict lockdown for another four weeks, Fitness Australia has won some hard-earned concessions in Victoria and South Australia to match those achieved in other states.

The relaxation of restrictions across these two states has seen health and fitness facilities reopen in-line with hospitality, a small win but one worth celebrating after months of advocacy around the safety of gyms.

Being treated the same as hospitality, at least, has always been a “no brainer” for our sector but, as we know, this has not always been the situation with government departments and health authorities.

We have argued since the outbreak of COVID that exercise is essential and that fitness facilities can be COVID-Safe with the appropriate protocols in place, and should be allowed to reopen when other industries do.

What is now vital, is the continued high level of standards Fitness Australia members have shown when it comes to operating and providing a COVID-Safe environment for members to exercise and keep active.

We do not want to put our hard work in jeopardy by any facilities or individuals not complying, or trying to find “loopholes”, with the relevant requirements.

Health authorities, the media and the wider community will be watching us and we will all be judged by any instances of illegal or rogue behaviour by any facility or individual.  I cannot stress enough the importance of all Fitness Australia members demonstrating best practice and doing the right thing at all times.

We are all in this together. Let’s not turn back the clock.

Key Victorian restrictions 

  • Maximum patron cap of 100 people per space indoors and 300 per space outdoors; and
  • Density quotient of no more than 1 person per 4sqm; and
  • the number of members of the public in a group at any one time is limited to 10 (with infants under one year of age not counting towards this limit); and
  • A COVID Check-in Marshal is present at all entrances to the facility open to members of the public whenever the facility is operational

Definition of a space 

Indoor space means an area, room or premises that is or are substantially enclosed by a roof and walls that are temporary (in a physical recreational facility or food and drink facility only) or permanent structures rising either from floor to ceiling or are at least 2.1 metres high, regardless of whether the roof or walls or any part of them are open or closed.

Key South Australian restrictions 

  • Indoor Fitness – 1 person per 8 square metres
  • Outdoor Fitness- 1 person per 4 square metres
  • Must show effort to maintain social distancing (1.5m) for both indoor and outdoor fitness
  • Masks are mandatory for all indoor activities. This includes staff (employed or contracted) and members. However, a mask can be removed for the following reasons:
    • You are performing physical activity (this relates to members and staff performing physical activity as part of their regular duties)
    • You are performing another activity that would prevent you wearing a mask (e.g. showering)
    • You have a physical or intellectual disability that would be negatively impacted by wearing a mask
  • Masks are recommended but not required outdoors if you are able to maintain 1.5m of distance