New Zealand

Exercise Industry Ready For Alert Level Two – Not Business As Usual

Christchurch – Hundreds of thousands of Kiwis are ready to go back to gyms, studios and exercise facilities, when the covid-19 alert level two kicks in on Thursday, ExerciseNZ says.

Parliament received a comprehensive report last week how exercise facilities in New Zealand could safely operate in a coronavirus environment, showing how people can return to exercise facilities when alert level two begins.

Richard Beddie, the chief executive of ExerciseNZ says his industry is ready and prepared for tomorrow.

“We have a world class framework for re-opening and we have protocols, distancing, cleaning and safety regimes in everyone’s best interests,” Beddie says.

“We know 670,000 Kiwis enjoy the exercise industry and our research shows 60 percent of those people want to return to facilities from tomorrow.

“Personal training sessions can still happen, but there is no touching so there will be some differences from business as normal.

“X marks the spot might be a lot more common in group exercise spaces with lots of sprays and cleaning rules to sustain safety for exercising people and staff.

“Our industry protocols should ensure prevention of community transmission. Restrictions under alert level two still need to be imposed. We believe New Zealanders want to do the right thing.

“Our approach to the easing of the pandemic in New Zealand is a world first, we have engaged global experts, as well as a NZ-based clinical protocol designer to ensure all the recommendations are evidence-based and consistent with the latest research on covid-19.

“We’ve specifically considered each and every covid-19 risk and developed a mitigation strategy from them, using a model based on one developed in the USA.

“We want to not only provide support to exercise providers navigating covid-19 but provide information to government and the New Zealand exercising public, that we take safety seriously.

“To the hundreds of thousands of Kiwis that took up walking during the lockdown, they can remember how going for a walk made them feel. If people are wanting to keep feeling like that they should consider taking up exercise: join a gym, go to a yoga class, whatever it is, stay active.”

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