People may soon be allowed back in gyms.
People may soon be allowed back in gyms.

How COVID-19 has changed the way gyms will operate

MAX fitness Chinchilla is ready to reopen as soon as the State Government gives the green light.

Gyms will open under step two of the three-stage framework released by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday, May 8.

"It's important gyms know they're the next cab off the rank, that pubs and clubs are in step three," Prime Minister Morrison said.

Max Fitness manager Mike Debenham, 45, said he has already started making changes in preparation for opening the gym.

"At the moment the main thing for us is to have a multi attack plan in place for whatever announcements are made," Mr Debenham said.

"We'll space out equipment, allow sufficient time between classes to make sure equipment is cleaned to the highest of levels, and be more vigilant with members to ensure everyone is adhering to hygiene requirements.

"From what we can make out at this point, gyms will have to be maned… so the 24 hour gym where people can go in the middle of the night may be a thing of the past."

Mr Mike Debenham said it's likely that more staff will be rostered on to ensure hygiene procedures are being upheld to the highest standard.

"A big thing for the fitness industry over the next wee while is how we do our day to day operations as far as health and hygiene goes… to ensure that we put protocols in place that are up to government regulations," he said.

"I foresee us at Max having extended staff hours to ensure members and staff are doing the right thing."

Exercise is proven to play a big role with mental health, said Mr Debenham, so it's important to be able to reopen as a lot of people use exercise as an outlet.

"Physical health is one aspect but for a lot of people the gym is their community, the gym is where a lot of their relationships have been built, so without having those relationships we have people suffering in the community with their mental health," he said.

"Mental health is what really needs to be looked after.

"Also we've got a pandemic of not just COVID-19, we have a pandemic of obesity and the gyms are on the frontline of fighting that pandemic."

Stage two restriction easing is in four weeks' time (June 20) and will depend on whether there has been an outbreak of COVID-19 which could see restrictions tighten.


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