Prime Minister Scott Morrison has outlined his ‘three stage plan’ to easing lockdown restrictions in Australia, revealing the reopening of gyms and beauty services will occur as part of ‘stage two’.
In a press conference on Friday afternoon, the PM revealed the gradual national framework and the three-stage process, with each stage to be evaluated after three weeks.
“Step two will allow larger size gatherings of up to 20 people including for venues such as cinemas and galleries, more retail openings on sector-based COVID-safe plans,” Scott Morrison said.
“Organised community sport, beauty parlours, and - you’ll be pleased to know - barre classes open once again.”
The Northern Territory had already announced it would be allowing people back to the gym and pubs from May 15.
Fitness industry body welcomes news
Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish said the announcement was well received by the industry but said continued work with each state and territory is required to provide further clarification to businesses and exercise professions across Australia as to a date they can reopen and under what conditions.
“We welcome today’s relaxations, which will see gyms opened as part of Stage 2 in a few weeks’ time. It was encouraging to hear Scott Morrison specifically mention gyms are the next cab off the rank,” Mr Elvish said in a statement obtained by Yahoo Lifestyle.
“With exact timing of reopenings to be determined at a state and territory level, Fitness Australia has been working extensively state governments to development a comprehensive framework for the safe reopening of gyms.
“We expect some states to move quicker than others as we have already seen with the Northern Territory. Fitness Australia will continue to work with states and territories to provide further clarification to the fitness industry in coming weeks.
“Gyms can reopen safely, and we have a committed industry who is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure the health and safety of members and staff so they can reopen and restart their businesses.”
Aussie’s keen to get back to the gym
Many people have turned to working out at home, and businesses have adapted by offering live workouts. But that doesn’t mean Aussie’s aren’t keen to get back to the gym when they can.
In fact, a recent consumer survey by industry body Fitness Australia has found more than 85 per cent of gym users will renew their memberships when gyms safely reopen.
Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish said while people had remained active during isolation many were missing the gym and looking forward to getting back to their regular routine once safe to do so.
“Our survey found more than 86% of people have continued to exercise since gyms closed in late March, with 36% walking or running to keep active,” Mr Elvish said in a statement obtained by Yahoo Lifestyle.
“However, while many have maintained a consistent level of exercise, 85% are keen to get back to their usual routine once gyms can reopen safely. What was also great to see was 54% are keen to maintain or review their membership to support their local facility or business.
“For many, the gym is also more than just a place to exercise, it’s a social environment with more than 24% of respondents saying the sense of community was their reason for maintaining or renewing their membership.”
Stage Two of easing restrictions will include
Gatherings of 20 people in your home, business and public places
Work from home if it works for you and your employer
Gyms, beauty, cinemas, galleries and amusement parks open with COVID-safe plans
Organised community sport allowed
Caravan and camping grounds reopen
Some interstate travel
States and territories may allow larger numbers in some circumstances
Scott Morrison reveals Stage One of easing lockdown restrictions
Stage One of easing lockdown restrictions will include allowing gatherings of up to 10 people, the opening of small cafes and restaurants, and intrastate recreational travel.
Golfing, swimming, and bootcamps will also be allowed again under stage one.
Premiers and chief ministers are now tasked with how and when they will implement the restriction changes Mr Morrison has outlined.
Yet there is no guarantee any state or territory leader will move immediately following the prime minister’s announcement, with Mr Morrison repeatedly reminding all decisions ultimately lie with them.
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