Southern Highland gyms are feeling the burn with increasing restrictions put in place.
With an emergence of COVID-19 clusters in NSW, the NSW Department of Health has directed a change to the COVID safe plan which has gyms feeling like lifting without a spotter.
Anytime Fitness in Bowral has had to decrease opening hours and staff member Andrew Sartori said it will take a toll.
"The 24 hour gyms will be affected most," Sartori
"Members will only be able to go to the gym if a staff member is present. To try and combat that we've significantly increased our staff hours from our standard.
"It's definitely taking a toll. It's been a lot more work.
Owner of Plus Fitness 24/7 Mittagong, Tom Willougby is confused by the recent added restrictions.
"Obviously staffing 24 hours a day is unrealistic," Willougby said.
"Especially considering the "reasoning" for this is to stop the spread in high risk areas.
"However, in off peak times, this is where COVID would least likely be spread because not many people would be attending gyms.
"In my opinion gyms are one of the safest places of businesses. We have hand sanitisers everywhere. Members know all the touch points. We have sanitation regulations as you walk into the gym.
"You wipe the equipment down before and after use. What other business has the ability to do that?
"You go to the shops, other people pick up items to look at, put it back. There's no real way to know where touch points are in areas like that. In a gym you do."
Unfortunately gyms and the fitness industry is getting a bad rap and I like to believe that we are a part of the solution by doing everything right.Owner of Plus Fitness 24/7 Mittagong, Tom Willougby.
Going above and beyond isn't a hassle for Willougby. He said Plus Fitness 24/7 Mittagong had always made cleaning the highest of priorities.
"I want to be a part of the solution not the problem, but everything we've been asked to do we've already been doing," Willougby said.
"What the government has required us to do with COVID-19 is actually less then what we were doing before all this.
"The only thing that has changed is enforcing social distancing. With our cleaning, if we did what was asked, we'd be doing less. We go above and beyond.
"We've hired a company with approved cleaning products that has been proven to kill COVID-19 and last up to 28 days,"
"We pay for them to come out every month and we use their products on a daily basis. I don't know of any other business that cleans as much as we do.
"There hasn't been one case, or cluster associated with a gym. There have been people who have been to gyms after they've been to a pub and tested positive, however, no further cases have come from that gym. It shows that the environment of a gym is a safe place.
"Unfortunately gyms and the fitness industry is getting a bad rap and I like to believe that we are a part of the solution by doing everything right."
These new terms will be effective from 8pm on Friday, July 31.
For more information or for updated opening hours, please visit the gyms websites.
Plus Fitness 24/7 Mittagong: www.plusfitness.com.au/gyms/mittagong
Anytime Fitness Bowral: www.anytimefitness.com.au/gyms/au-1138/bowral-nsw
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