As we approach four weeks since gyms closed in late March, the fitness industry and all Fitness Australia members have faced many challenges. Ensuring the viability of businesses, sole traders and exercise professionals during COVID-19 has seen many Fitness Australia members switch to options such as virtual training and outdoor training.
While we understand these alternatives have not been possible for everyone, Fitness Australia is being proactive in keeping members up to date with the latest restrictions and what they mean when it comes to continued exercise.
Fitness Australia and its Regional Managers have been working with state-based authorities to seek confirmation on what is permitted when filming virtual content and training outdoors.
We have received clarification from most states and territories but are still seeking a response the Northern Territory. Below are the confirmations Fitness Australia has received to date.
There are no directions by the Queensland Chief Health Officer that specifically prohibit filming workouts within a studio/gym for the purpose of training people remotely. While the gym cannot operate in terms of allowing clients to enter, we can see no reason why two people creating a video from the gym would contravene the directives, assuming they are practising appropriate hygiene measures, social distancing [with maximum of 2 people] and are not working or leaving their home if they are unwell.
New South Wales
Gym staff are allowed to be present at the gym for the purposes of creating a training video and live streaming training workouts to members. Each staff member could raise the reasonable excuse for leaving their residence for work/exercise. The gym must remain closed to the public but can be open to staff for the purposes of creating a training video or live streaming. No members of the public can be present. It is important to be mindful of the latest Directions from the Health Minister re social gatherings and the penalties involved.
Australian Capital Territory
The ACT Government recognises the importance of physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic to benefit physical and mental health within the community. While gyms, indoor sports centres, health and fitness clubs should be closed to the public under current restrictions, these areas may be viewed as the workplaces of fitness professionals.
This permits these personnel to access gym floors for the purpose of developing online workout/training content. Any gathering of people for this purpose must not have a density of more than one person per 4m2 and staff must not participate in groups greater than two individuals at any point in time. Individual gyms are advised to use their own discretion in considering online content development in their facility based on individual circumstances related to COVID-19.
Current stage 3 directions in Victoria do not prevent the filming from a gym for the purpose of online training content. Providing that, no public would be permitted to attend the gym, with maximum of 2 people and physical distancing must be complied with.
Tasmanian Government’s Communities, Sport and Recreation Division have advised that their view is similar to that of Queensland’s – gyms are not open to the public, and no more than 2 people creating a video from the gym would contravene the directives, whilst adhering to social distancing and appropriate hygiene measures.
The rules imposed in South Australia relate to outdoor bootcamps and personal training activities refer to a maximum of 10 people (1 trainer + 9 clients), provided that the density requirement is complied with. The density requirement is no more than one person per 4 square metres. These directions are subject to change from time to time, so please check this link.
Providers should also check the conditions of their council permit.
Indoor gyms are closed to members or consumers, but you can film / live stream from the gym premises as long as there is a group of less than 10 people (staff only) and the density requirement is complied with (1 person per 4 square metres).
As at 16 April 2020, the current State of Emergency Declarations in WA do not prohibit the filming of fitness classes conducted by employees/fitness instructors inside of a gym, however that gym must remain closed to the public. Per other directives around prohibited gatherings, there must be no more than two person present in a single undivided indoor space and appropriate social distancing measures (at least 4sqm of space for each person, maintaining distances of 1.5m from other people) must also be put in place. This is outlined in the ‘Closure and Restriction (Limit the Spread) Directions’ issued on 7 April 2020. As this situation is dynamic, it would be advisable that all gyms and instructors monitor the full list of directions which are available here.
Fitness Australia’s Recommendations for delivering online virtual training
Fitness Australia recommends business owners and personal trainers consider the following when creating online virtual training content or training outdoors:
- Contact your insurance provider, if your provider is Guild Insurance, you can reach them on 1800 810 213.
- Read our recommendations on what to consider when you move to online virtual training.
- If you’re unsure of local rules that may apply to your business, reach out to your local Police Station and Council.
‘Keep on Moving’ Campaign Update
Fitness Australia continues to build momentum and critical mass support for the fitness industry through its engagement with relevant state and federal authorities.
As an industry body, it’s important for there to be an opportunity to work with the relevant decision makers to ensure accurate, timely and relevant information can be shared with the fitness industry.
Collaborating with state and federal health authorities will also ensure any relaxation in COVID-19 social distancing restrictions are carefully and safely rolled out and adhered to, to ensure your members, clients and the broader community have the confidence that all precautions are being taken to protect them.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our industry impacts survey over the past few weeks, we had strong response to both question sets.
Fitness Australia is now analysing the findings to develop the COVID-19 Fitness Industry Impacts to Date report. As previously mentioned, this report will be used as part of our ongoing government advocacy and media relations campaign.
A copy of the final report will also be available to all Fitness Australia members in coming weeks.
‘Keep on Moving’ Website
Following the launch of the ‘Keep on Moving’ website two weeks ago, we have made regular updates to ensure all our members can provide current information about their virtual or outdoor training options. The website is also connecting the broader community – from parents at home with kids through to seniors looking to stay active – with a variety of paid and free workout options from our members and partners.
The more we can do to keep people active and engaged with exercise during isolation, the better the outcome for the whole industry in a post COVID-19 world. See how you can get involved.