Fitness Australia is calling on the West Australian Government to immediately reverse its decision on keeping gyms and fitness facilities closed until at least Saturday 1 May 2021.

Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish said it was unacceptable to be grouped with casinos and nightclubs when there have been zero cases of infection or transmission in a WA gym since they reopened from long lockdowns last year.

Mr Elvish said:

“We are angry and frustrated to see gyms grouped with casinos and nightclubs, which are all to remain closed until at least Saturday 1 May.” 

“Since WA gyms reopened last year from the extended lockdown there have been no cases of infection or transmission in a gym. What is today’s decision based on?

“Why has the Government not consulted with us as the peak industry association in determining these restrictions? Why are other recreation centres and swimming pools allowed to open but fitness facilities cannot?

“Why is hospitality allowed to open, when across Australia many outbreaks have been caused by infected people visiting a restaurant or café.”

Mr Elvish said since gyms reopened from long lockdowns last year, Fitness Australia registered facilities have been going above and beyond with cleaning and sanitisation to ensure a safe environment for the community to exercise, which makes this decision even harder to understand.

Mr Elvish said:

“The business impact from any lockdown is devastating for business owners. However, this decision is not based on fact or data which is incomprehensible, damaging and wrong.” 

“Our member gyms have been going above and beyond our high standards to ensure the community has a safe place to exercise and keep healthy.

“Gyms are not part of the problem and our own Australian visitation to virus transmission data shows that the chance of COVID-19 transmission in a gym is less than one in a million. In fact, the chance of being infected in a fitness facility is a meagre 0.00008%. I say again, in WA there have been zero cases.”

Mr Elvish said Fitness Australia is urging the WA Government to show the data that says gyms are high risk and therefore need to remain closed for longer. 

Mr Elvish said:

“On behalf of hundreds of our WA members and thousands of people who rely on a gym to exercise, we are urgently calling on the West Australian Government to reopen gyms now and allow people to safely exercise.”

“Gyms are essential to our health, particularly mental health and wellbeing which is so important during lockdown periods.”