The fitness industry is calling on the federal government to provide more clarity on gym closures as it tries to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Australian pubs, clubs, cafes, gyms and cinemas closed hatches on Monday as severe new restrictions began to fight the corona virus pandemic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced “ stage one ” restrictions on Sunday evening, requiring gyms to close for six months as part of the measures.
A group of enthusiastic gym goers show off their muscles during a final workout at Anytime Fitness in Burwood, shortly before the closings went into effect
There are now a national total of 1,676 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia
Australian pubs, clubs, cafes, gyms and cinemas closed hatches on Monday when severe new restrictions began to fight the corona virus pandemic
Gyms have since closed their doors and those within the industry and their members remain confused given the different types of facilities and services that will be offered.
“It is still unclear whether the services offered within the fitness industry can continue to work,” said Barrie Elvish, CEO of Fitness Australia.
‘For example, can a PT (personal trainer) continue to train a client indoors in a 1: 1 environment, provided that all social distance measures have been taken? Or can these services only be offered outside? ‘
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said that the Australian consumer law prohibits companies from accepting payments for services when the services will not be provided.
“This applies regardless of whether you can suspend payments with your contract,” the website said.
If gym members have made a prepayment covering the period of the closure, the ACCC said that they should receive a refund or a credit note or voucher for that period.
But if the service is suspended due to government restrictions, it will affect refund rights under consumer guarantees.
“It’s best if you contact the gym directly to request a refund or other remedy, such as a voucher or voucher,” the ACCC advises.
Gyms like City Gym (pictured) had taken stringent measures in recent weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the use of additional cleaners
Many gyms quickly emailed members on Monday and announced closings, with some saying they were looking for other ways to keep members healthy and moving (Fit n Fast shown)
Many gyms quickly emailed members Monday announcing closings, with some saying they were looking for other ways to keep members healthy and moving.
Sydney Gym Fitness Playground sent an email to members Monday night explaining that it was ‘difficult’ to close the doors.
“We also know you have a lot of questions about your membership and the future of the playground, and we’re doing our best to provide answers,” the email said.
“Since this is a rapidly evolving situation, we will provide you with information as soon as we get it.”
Despite the closure, Fitness Playground keeps members’ health the “ number one priority ” using virtual and outdoor workouts.
“We’ve redesigned a number of membership options that you can choose from that give you access to the Playground,” said the email.
“These options are designed to meet your financial situation, your unique fitness needs, your new location at home – and allow our small business to stay afloat when we reopen our doors.
Jetts Australia also launches training from home called ‘Jetts At Home’ (photo)
Anytime Fitness Australia has also emailed customers regarding all gym closures but has yet to announce an online alternative for members or a break in membership
“We work with our industry association, our billing company and partners and suppliers to bring you these solutions. It is unprecedented for all of us. Please ask that you remain patient and empathetic with us during this time. ‘
Anytime Fitness Australia has also emailed its members announcing an online alternative, or an option to pause memberships.
“Your individual club will be in touch with you about the next steps later today, and we appreciate your patience today,” the email said.
Fit n Fast gyms said they believed gyms to be “essential to physical and mental health,” but they were closed due to government restrictions.
All costs for Fit n Fast have been interrupted from Monday and all memberships will be suspended in the near future.
Fit n Fast also offers a digital membership option for those who choose to exercise at home.
“The COVID-19 virus has brought us unprecedented circumstances, and with a regulated temporary shutdown, it has affected not only our company, but hundreds of companies and sole proprietors who trust the work that FNF and our parent Viva Leisure offer them,” -mail said.
Fitness buffs like Glen Armener (pictured) rushed to gyms for a final workout before the lockdown takes effect across the country on Monday afternoon
Several other major gyms have announced their closings and plans.
Jetts Australia is also launching home training courses called ‘Jetts At Home’.
“Led by Bart, our Training Gym Head Coach, Jetts At Home is a fantastic platform for workouts that our members can do anywhere, plus they get training tips, nutrition advice and wellness information to keep them fighting fit,” the Instagram post of the company.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 1,709
New South Wales: 704
Western Australia: 140
South Australia: 134
Australian Capital Territory: 32
Northern Territory: 4
TOTAL CASES: 1709
Vision Personal Training has also announced a virtual product with an online 1: 1 Personal Training service.
The industry association is also looking to clarify the timeframe of the gym closures.
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said the shutdown will remain in effect until midnight on April 13, but may be extended.
Fitness Australia has more than 3,500 corporate members and more than 19,000 fitness professionals who deal directly with closings.
“We are committed to supporting our industry and providing them with clear information,” said Mr. Elvish.
“It was vital for people to stay active while distancing themselves,” he said.
“Staying active in a time of isolation and uncertainty is extremely important to our mental health, and as an industry, our mission is to ensure that people can continue to exercise safely,” he said.
Scott Morrison’s decision to close gyms to reduce the spread of the coronavirus is expected to lead to the loss of 20,000 jobs.
Stacey Steiner, a personal trainer and fitness model, is one of the old City Gym employees who are now effectively out of work
The owner of one of Sydney’s largest gyms has criticized the government’s decision, arguing that the facilities should be considered one of the ‘essential’ services exempt from closures.
City Gym owner Billy Kokkinis told Daily Mail Australia that they had made serious efforts to stay open.
“It’s been a bit of a disaster for us, we can’t understand why we have to close – we played by the rules and did everything possible,” he said.
“We spent extra money on cleaners, kept people apart and did everything the government asked us to do.
“To come and shut us off … we hope we can have something to come back to when it’s all over, but we don’t know.”