In what will no doubt be news to the ears of Australians everywhere, you will soon be able to don your best gym gear, dust off your training shoes and forget all about home ‘grim gyms’, as ‘proper’ gyms in Australia can soon re-open their doors to paying members…albeit with a slight catch.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has today (Friday 7th May) announced a plan toward lifting the restrictions currently in place,
“Today, National Cabinet agreed a three-step plan and a national framework to achieve a COVID-safe economy and society. It is our goal to move through all of these steps to achieve that COVID-safe economy in July of this year.”
Restaurants and cafes fall into the stage one category, meaning they will be among the first to re-open, and perhaps more importantly, outdoor bootcamps of up to 10 people can resume as part of the stage one relaxation as well.
But full-scale gyms won’t be too far behind as they’ve been deemed worthy of securing a place in the stage two category. While that would initially seem like great news for fitness fanatics all over Australia, there is some bad news hidden within the announcement.
As part of the relaxing of restrictions, Prime Minister understandably says we still need to be careful and take precautionary methods so as not to reintroduce the virus into society. According to ABC, that means only 20 people will be allowed entry into gyms at one time. That’s fine if you’re a member of a private or less-frequented club, but members of the larger corporate studios may find themselves waiting in a queue outside the door operating on a one-in, one-out policy.
We’re just projecting with that last part, so don’t take that as gospel.
Although, there is potentially some truth in our prediction, as F45 has said (before the National Cabinet outcome was announced) it is currently taking “registrations of interest” from current members to be part of the “opening intake” when studios re-open. The company’s reasoning being “there are likely going to be restrictions on capacity.”
Harsh? Maybe. Understandable? Definitely.
We haven’t heard of other clubs adopting a similar policy as of yet, but you’ll do well to prepare yourself to be one of the first past the post if you want a chance of rebuilding those gains.
The PM added that it will be down to individual states and territories to decide when to introduce the changes (NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has already said any outcomes of this National Cabinet won’t be introduced this weekend) and also revealed: “some jurisdictions may allow larger numbers in some circumstances.”
Fitness Australia, the leading fitness body in the country has already commented on the lifting of the laws, saying “today’s announcement that will see the delivery of outdoor bootcamps up to 10 people occurring in Stage 1 and gyms re-opening in Stage 2, has been welcomed by Fitness Australia.”
The body’s CEO Barrie Elvish added, “With exact timing of re-openings to be determined at a state and territory level, Fitness Australia has been working extensively state governments to develop a comprehensive framework for the safe re-opening of gyms”
“Exercise and maintaining a regular fitness routine play an important role in keeping our mental and physical health in balance and we are very happy to see outdoor and then indoor activity playing a key role in each of the roadmap stages”.
Interestingly, Fitness Australia doesn’t mention the 20 person limit, so this could be one area that will be at the discretion of individual states.
Following stage two will, naturally, be stage three, which will see Australians return back to work, gatherings of up to 100 people being allowed and pubs and bars opening their doors to thirsty patrons. The changes implemented at each stage will be closely monitored by the Government to make sure no new cases, or at least, very new cases are reported.