Zero cases of infection or transmission in regional Victoria gyms since first reopening.

Fitness Australia is calling for the Victorian government to provide rationale around its decision to keep regional gyms and fitness facilities closed longer given there have been zero cases of transmission or infection, while other higher-risk venues such as retail and hospitality will be allowed to reopen from 11.59pm Thursday 3 June 2021.

Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish said the association has worked extensively with government authorities during the pandemic to ensure the safety of the whole community while allowing gyms to open and provide an essential service for people to look after their health and wellbeing.

Mr Elvish said:

“Over the past twelve months Fitness Australia has been working with the Victorian government authorities to put robust COVID-safe practices and procedures in place to enable Fitness Australia registered facilities to operate safely even when certain restrictions are in place. The zero rate of transmission demonstrates the effectiveness of these actions.”

“It’s ridiculous to hear the Acting Premier announced today that indoor gyms and fitness facilities are some of the very few places that must remain closed longer due to the risk of transmission in these venues. What data or evidence is this based on?

“Our industry data, gathered this week from a sample of 500 locations, shows there have been more than 6.4 million check-ins at Victorian’s gyms registered with Fitness Australia since first reopening and at no stage has there been any infection or transmission cases in regional Victoria.

“For contact sport and even a trip to the nail salon or tattoo parlor to be permitted, it’s hard to understand why gyms – where social distancing, high levels of sanitation and hygiene are being implemented and zero transmission – are not allowed to reopen from midnight tomorrow.

“For many people a trip to the gym, or participation in a group fitness class, helps maintain and manage mental health and overall wellbeing, yet the community is being restricted from using these services due to decisions that are not based on fact, previously agreed protocols or current data.”

Mr Elvish said Fitness Australia wanted to work with the government to ensure they had access to vital industry data to inform key decisions.

Mr Elvish said:

“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 regional Victoria are safe.

“In additional to this, Fitness Australia has successfully worked with other state governments to ensure the safe opening, and continued operation, of fitness facilities, which has proven that businesses in our industry can operate in a safe manner.”