Hawke's Bay gyms are reporting an uptick in cancelled memberships and bracing for a financial hit ahead of the new Covid traffic light system kicking in on Friday.
Unvaccinated gym-goers can no longer continue working out at local gyms when the country enters the new system and Hawke's Bay shifts to "orange".
However, a gym owner in Napier says she is determined not to let it "destroy the relationships we have built" over the past 16 years, and says they are waiving fees for unvaccinated members who want to cancel or freeze memberships.
Gyms who opt in to using the My Vaccine Pass will be able to keep their doors open at green, orange and red levels but can only cater for the double vaccinated and those with a vaccine certificate.
Gyms that opt out of the My Vaccine Pass scheme will only be able to open at green level and will have additional restrictions.
A Government mandate also states all gym workers including personal trainers must have their first jab by Friday to continue working in a gym.
No region in New Zealand will enter straight into green level and the Prime Minister announced Hawke's Bay (apart from Wairoa) would start out at orange level.
Hawke's Bay Today spoke to three gyms in Napier and Hastings all of which have opted into the My Vaccine Pass.
"We are definitely going to a vaccinated-centre only," Chrissy Newall, owner of Bay City Gym in Marewa, said.
"You don't really have too much of a choice when you are a business owner.
"You need to be able to operate and provide your service."
Newall, who owns the gym with her husband, Hamish Newall, said they were trying their best to look after all their members including anyone who was undecided or did not want to be vaccinated.
"I have been at our gym for 16 years and I've worked for 16 years building relationships, and this could very easily destroy a lot of relationships that you build.
"We have determined it is not going to destroy those relationships we have built."
She said they had waived fees for cancelling a membership, and anyone undecided about the vaccine could choose to freeze their membership for eight weeks.
"We are going to take quite a hit but we are confident that we can recover.
"We feel we have a responsibility as the guardians of our gym to keep it going and we have a lot of long-term members."
Newall did not say how many members or workers they estimated would be unable to attend the gym beyond Friday.
Meryn Hemmingsen, owner of Flex Fitness Hastings which is now facing a scare over two visits from a Covid positive gym-goer, said they were also waving cancellation fees and allowing memberships to be put on hold.
She said they had no choice but to join the My Vaccine Pass scheme.
"There is still a lot of confusion out there from people but we are able to explain to them, if they do push back, that it is absolutely out of our hands."
F45 Hastings owner Ryan Tongia said gyms were a hugely important service during the pandemic as they helped people's mental health during an already challenging time.
He said he was taking up the My Vaccine Pass as he wanted to stay open and continue to offer the fitness service.