Fitness Australia, has applauded today’s announcement by Fitness First to introduce temperature checks upon entry to all clubs in New South Wales.

Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish said Fitness Australia has been working very closely with the industry and government to ensure best practice health and hygiene procedures are in place across member gyms and fitness facilities.

Mr Elvish said:

“We applaud Fitness First on the introduction of temperature checks across their NSW clubs as an additional measure to ensure the safety of all members and staff.”

“Across the industry many operators are going above and beyond what is required by Health authorities and this decision by Fitness First is an excellent example of putting health and safety interests first to ensure gyms can continue to safely operate and provide a vital service to the community.”

Fitness First General Manager David Aitchison said the health and safety of members and staff was its top priority and wanted to do whatever was required to give that reassurance.

Mr Aitchison said:

“All Fitness First clubs currently have strict cleaning and safety protocols in place in compliance with the NSW Health Department guidelines. However, as one of the largest health and fitness brands in the country, we feel it was our duty to go above and beyond the current Government requirements, to ensure the protection of our members and staff.”

The move has been introduced as an additional measure and aligns with a comprehensive operations framework Fitness Australia has developed with the industry to provide gym users and the broader community with the confidence and comfort that fitness facilities can be a COVID safe environment.

Mr Elvish said:

“Gyms can be a COVID safe environment when strict measures are enforced to protect the health and safety of members and employees.”

“Our framework includes a range of guidelines from high frequency cleaning and sanitation, spacing of equipment through to contact tracing, personal training and group fitness recommendations to ensure physical distancing can be enforced.”

The operations framework is part of Fitness Australia’s COVID Safety Plan which has been endorsed by industry leaders across the sector and Occupational and Environment Physician Dr Andrea James MBBS FAFOE(RACP) FRACGP GDOEH.

Mr Elvish also said Fitness Australia is also urging the NSW Government to consider gyms, fitness and exercise programs conducted by qualified professionals an essential service.

Mr Elvish said:

“Exercise is imperative to our mental health and wellbeing – fitness and exercise needs to be considered an essential service to allow people to continue their regular physical activity; particularly when community anxiety is significantly heightened.”

“This especially applies to Personal Trainers who often work with clients presenting with special needs and/or mental health issues. Protecting and managing mental health during this uncertain and concerning time is essential.”