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I would like to address the false statements made by the premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews.
In opening up regional Victoria he stated that gyms are high-risk environments, because of the vigorous activities involved in gyms that make them high risk.
That’s like saying that restaurants and cafes are a high risk environment for food poisoning. Obviously our cafe and restaurant culture has developed protocols over many years to keep their food fresh, their patrons safe and have done a fantastic job because they are in the food business.We are and have always been in the sweat business. That means that we have developed and fine tuned hygiene policies and safety protocols that have worked for many, many years.We are without doubt an essential service. The benefits to gym users goes way beyond the physical. It’s the mental aspect it’s been ignored. The community environment and the importance of that socialisation that’s being ignored. So many gym goers are frontline essential workers. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, police officers, hospital workers, firefighters, social workers, psychologists and care workers. They are being denied the very thread that holds their lives together.
These and so many more Victorian workers that are under more pressure than ever before cannot get their daily exercise fix in the environment that helps them to cope in these troubled times.
As an industry, we have not been consulted about our levels of safety, hygiene and care. We have The premier and the chief health officer making false statements that can only hurt an industry that has already been damaged by this prolonged shutdown.
Once again I will explain why gyms are far ahead almost every other industry. When somebody checks in with their fob we know the exact minute did they walk in the door, we have their phone, the address, their date of birth and their photograph. Sanitisation, hygiene stations and distancing are all standard.
When we were allowed to open during that two weeks in between lockdowns, we had the DHHS contact us to say that a Covid positive person had attended our gym. We were immediately able to tell them the exact time the person walked in. The exact time they left. We were able to go through extensive CCTV network to see that this person had not interacted with anyone while working out. We were able to see that this person had adhered to all our safety procedures and had kept a safe distance from anyone else whilst in attendance. The DHHS called me back to say that our contact tracing, hygiene and safety procedures are a higher standard than any business or any other industry that they had dealt with. They were able to contact every member, guest and staff that were in attendance when the Covid positive person was here. They were able to declare within 24 hours that they were positive that there was no close contact with anyone, no community transmission and no need for any further investigation or follow-up. This government department, the DHHS complimented us on our procedures and diligence.Yet the premier and chief health officer have stated the exact opposite because they are misinformed or ignorant and speak regularly without doing any research or fact checking. This is a dangerous precedent that can only hurt Industries already in severe damage control with our lockdowns and curfews.
So the question to the Premier and the Chief Health Officer that needs to be asked, is what are they basing this on? Where is the data to support this and the statements that they make? This issue is far too important to be decided by or based on a hunch, ignorance or assumptions. It is affecting the lives, the mental health and the livelihood of tens of thousands of Victorians.
We are asking to allow us to open as soon as stage 4 restrictions are lifted. Why even wait until October 26. If the state opens, then let us open. Mr Premier, what can we do to help you to help us to get people back into the gyms that today we so badly need?
I am always here for you all and will not stop until our doors are open again. Please share and forward to anyone in the government or media that can help.
I am available for interviews, comments and support any time.
Stay safe and stay strong!