gyms reopen canada

These are the guidelines for gyms when they reopen in Canada

When gyms reopen in Canada, they'll need to adapt to the new normal and implement the appropriate protocols to operate safely and efficiently.

Most gyms in Canada currently remain closed as they await the go-ahead to resume operations from provincial officials, although some in British Columbia and Alberta are now gradually reopening their doors.

For gyms open already or planning to reopen in the near future, the Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) has just released their proposed health and safety guidelines for fitness facilities nationwide.

FIC is a non-profit trade association representing for profit, non-profit, municipal, boutique, and large format fitness facilities across the country. They also represent interests of fitness education, certification providers, and industry suppliers. 

Using B.C. and Alberta as examples for the rest of the country, the association released detailed guidelines that focus on four key areas: containment, cleaning, staffing and operations.

The containment section indicates that workouts will be scheduled ahead of time so that businesses can limit the number of people in a facility at a given time, along with ensuring the proper social distancing. This section also says traffic flows will be considered in common areas as well as exercise floors.

In terms of cleaning, FIC says "members will be empowered to clean and sanitize any piece of equipment before they touch it. Staff will be committed to thorough cleaning of facilities throughout the day. Activities will be scheduled to allow for a deep clean between sessions."

The third key area indicates that staff will be trained on proper protocols and systems will also be implemented to ensure their safety. 

Finally, FIC says facilities will be required to create detailed operating procedures and will be focused on all "touch points."

"The fitness industry is taking every precaution and practical steps possible to ensure the health of patrons and staff," said FIC in a statement.

"When you come back to your studio, gym or facility, rest assured that fitness professionals across the country are treating this pandemic very seriously. We are in the business of helping people become healthy. We will take all precautions to ensure your safety."

The framework, which is aimed specifically at Alberta but meant to be applicable to gyms in all other provinces, also includes guidelines such as screening patrons upon arrival, posting informative signs, avoiding locker room use if possible, closing customer water fountains, spacing machines out to allow for physical distancing, routine sanitization of high touch items and more. 

These guidelines have been modelled after successful industry launches in New Zealand as well as British Columbia. Specifically, the Fraser Valley Health Region. Each facility is encouraged to create their own set of operating procedures with more granular details," the framework notes. 

"Our recommended protocols and practices meet all Government general principles and guidelines to operate at phase 2, while also considering the unique environment and challenges of an exercise setting."

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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