Fitness industry calls for increased class sizes.

From 12.01 am this Friday, New South Wales will relax COVID-19 restrictions with all indoor venues allowed to increase capacity under the new 2 square metre rule – except for gyms. A decision peak industry association Fitness Australia said is disappointing and not based on data or facts. 

Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish said the new state-wide easing of restriction was a fantastic step forward in the NSW Government’s handling of community transmission but was frustrated gyms had been singled out and excluded again. 

Mr Elvish said:

“We applaud the NSW Government on their handling of COVID-19 community transmission in recent months. We know gyms are safe but misinformation is still leading to our industry being singled out.” 

“Fitness Australia gyms and members have worked tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of all gym users and, as an industry, we have had less reported cases of members visiting facilities with COVID-19 and lower rates of community transmission than other industries such as hospitality.” 

Mr Elvish said gyms, fitness classes and other fitness studios provided a vital service and facility for people to look after their long-term health, mental health and wellbeing. 

Mr Elvish said:

“The benefits of exercise on our health and wellbeing can not be underestimated. We accept the NSW Government’s position to keep gyms at 4sqm but would like to see class sizes increases to allow for more people to access group exercise.” 

“We know increasing class sizes now is safe. This will allow more people to attend a class, rather than continue to miss out due to unreasonable and isolated rules. 

“The data shows gyms and classes are safer than hospitality and entertainment. 

“Like many businesses in NSW, Fitness Australia members are providing a safe and hygienic environment for people to exercise, train with a Personal Trainer or take a class.” 

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.