From 12.01 am this Friday, gyms across New South Wales will be allowed 50 people in group fitness classes for the first time since Mid-December.
With today marking the 38th consecutive day without any community transmission in NSW, Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish said the increased class capacity was a huge step forward for fitness businesses.
Mr Elvish said:
“Today’s announcement that gym classes can return to 50 people, while still adhering to the 4-square metre rule, was a welcomed relief for our industry and the many fitness businesses that run group fitness classes – especially for boutique operators who only offer group classes.”
“This relaxation of restrictions will allow more people to attend a class, rather than continue to miss out. Getting more people safely back to the gym means more individuals are able to seek the support and services they need to look after their long-term health and wellbeing.”
Other indoor recreation including Yoga, Pilates, dance studios, martial arts training facilities can continue to operate without a cap but must ensure the number of people in a facility does not exceed one person per 2 square metres of publicly accessible space (excluding staff).
Mr Elvish applauded the NSW Government on their handling of COVID-19 community transmissions in recent months but called for greater engagement around the vital role health and fitness facilities play in the nation’s long-term health.
Mr Elvish said:
“38 days without community transmission is a significant achievement, particularly when you compare that to countries around the world. What we now need to turn our attention to is keeping Australians physically and mentally health through regular physical activity.”
“Fitness Australia members offer an essential service – enabling people to keep active, manage their physical and mental health and gain fitness in a safe environment. Rather than only looking at our physical and mental health during a pandemic, our focus needs to be on continually managing our health and wellbeing as a preventative measure.”
Fitness Australia has developed a comprehensive Framework for Safely Operating a Fitness Facility Under COVID-19 Restrictions, which has been rolled out Australia-wide.
The robust framework is designed to provide guidance in managing risks associated with COVID-19 within fitness facilities in Australia, while providing gym users and the broader community with the confidence and comfort that fitness facilities have a COVID-19 safety plan in place.