After living the past few months following strict social distancing rules, we are now at the exciting phase of gradually reopening. Whilst Australia has been monumental in limiting spread of coronavirus, it has certainly been a challenging time for many. The health impact has been less than predicted (at this stage anyway) however the economic impact is unprecedented! We have seen so many people impacted throughout the course of this pandemic with lives changed overnight.
So as we now start to ease restrictions, it's timely that we cautiously and proactively go about reopening.
For fitness businesses, the National Cabinet has stated that during 'stage 2' reopening, gyms will be allowed to open back up again. Currently we are at stage one which means:
"In 'Step One' outdoor gyms will be able to reopen with up to 10 people attending, as well as boot camps, but "no indoor physical activity including gyms".
"In 'Step Two' indoor gyms with up to 20 people can reopen. Now this will occur with strict measures in place as it is recognised that gyms can certainly be a vector for breeding germs! Scientists have shown that the coronavirus can last for up to 72 hours on metal surfaces so there is an increased responsibility to practise good hygiene going forward. I guess at Change It Up we're a little lucky also as we don't see hundreds of people in one day, making sanitising equipment and practising good hygiene a little easier.....
So here is what the experts have stated in regards to gyms reopening:
There will be strict protocols for gym owners including things like social distancing, disabling water bubblers and showers, people must bring their own towels and drink bottles, increased signage, increased sanitation stations, if they have a PA system reminders every half hour or so to keep their distance, and exercise professional staff demonstrating good behaviour,"
Gym owners are to provide a safe and hygienic environment for members going back to gyms, but also to encourage those who might be a little bit reluctant or anxious, that it is safe to go back
If you had treadmills or spin cycles, the protocol is you'd disable every second or third one, so you can't get on it subconsciously, and also gym staff will have to be much more proactive in both cleaning equipment as they walk around, but also reminding people that they need to practice social distancing.
Our recommendation will be that if they give a reminder and that person doesn't practice social distancing, that person can be banned from that facility for a period of time until they learn how to behave appropriately.
Fitness experts are also confident that should an outbreak occur at a gym, that gym owners and users alike would work with health authorities to help with tracing. Now we have downloaded the Covid safe app and we STRONGLY encourage you all to do the same. In doing so, if you have come in close contact with someone who has had a confirmed case of COVID-19, you will be quickly informed and can then do your part to prevent community transmission. If we all work together, we can continue forwards rather than potentially having to go back in to lockdown!
At Change It Up, we are very keen to return to face to face but are also congnisant of trust and being socially responsible in doing so. We are working behind the scene to establish a timetable that enables social distancing whilst getting you back in to your routine. This means things will be very different! We will see classes like boxing and metapwr re-introduced later on due to the high risk nature of these formats. We will have more classes that focus on using your own equipment through the session so that we limit sharing of apparatus. We will hopefully have some more yoga and Pilates sessions as we can practise good social distancing measures in these sessions. We will also practise good hygiene and cleaning of equipment after each usage.
What we do expect is that if you are unwell (including our staff) that you stay home! This is more important that ever and we all need to do our part to return to normalcy. We are going to continue to have some virtual sessions and those who are platinum members will have access to our YouTube library also.
We can't wait to get back into things - 4 million Aussies have gym memberships so we know you are all keen to get back into it too! Lets all do our part to get our community back up and running by being socially responsible and supporting one another. :)