Fitness Australia is urging all Victorians and the Victorian Government not to forget the importance of physical activity and exercise during this lockdown period.

With a two-hour daily limit on exercise allowed with one other person, Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish said it was still safe to exercise outdoors.

Mr Elvish said:

“We understand and support the Victorian government in their immediate measures to control the current COVID-19 outbreak. The health and safety of the community is important.”

“However, looking after our mental health and overall wellbeing is just as important, particularly during lockdown, which for many people means isolation from friends and family.

“Continuing to keep active over the next seven days is extremely important and, provided you are well and adhering to social distancing requirements and other stage three lockdown restrictions, getting outdoors to exercise with one other person is allowed.”

Continued industry consultation

Mr Elvish also said it was vital for the Victorian Government to consult with the industry in the coming days to discuss the safe reopening of fitness centres and gyms.

Mr Elvish said:

“We are calling on the Victorian Government and health authorities to work with us over the coming days to ensure the fitness industry can reopen as soon as possible. We want to ensure they have access to vital industry data to inform key decisions.”

“As the industry’s peak industry association, we want to work with the government to alleviate any concerns they have around the safety of registered gyms. We have thousands of individual and business members who are able to provide instant data when it comes to check-ins, contact information and tracing.”

“This is the same data that has shown us that our members’ gyms across Victoria are safe.”

Mr Elvish said the fitness sector has been unfairly mislabelled in the past and the industry was hoping the Victorian Government wouldn’t make the same mistakes again.

Mr Elvish said:

“The fitness sector has been mislabelled in the past and continued to be labelled as high risk, the cause of outbreaks, dirty, unsafe and many other pejoratives, unfairly. The sector has demonstrated since the beginning of the pandemic that it can work effectively with state health departments to implement COVID-Safe social distancing and hygiene protocols.” 

“We urge the Victorian Government to use this industry data rather than these false narratives that are not based on Australian facts.

“Fitness Australia registered gyms and their staff have a vested interest in keeping their facilities safe and hygienic, even more so now. Likewise, gym members who want their facility to stay open also appreciate the importance of maintaining social distance, cleaning equipment, bringing their own towel and staying home if feeling unwell.”