Gyms gearing up to re-open their doors in the next few days are busy ensuring physical distancing and hygiene measures are in place to keep both gym-goers and staff safe.

Exercise NZ expected most gyms to be back operating by Monday - if not sooner.

Exercise NZ chief executive Richard Beddie said the key tool for gyms to manage the risks around Covid-19 were physical distancing and sanitisation.

Beddie said for a gym class they were recommending gyms mark spots to keep attendees 2m apart and ensure equipment such as treadmills were 1.5m apart.

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He said gyms will now have an X or a square indicating where people should stand.

It was also recommended that personal trainers who could not keep a 2m distance from their clients wear masks.

There would also be deep-cleans carried out every night, spot-cleans carried out through the day and a protocol where each member is also expected to wipe down equipment such as a bar in a pump class before using it.

He said gyms were not classed as group gatherings as people were coming and going at different times and not socialising together, so there could be more than 100 people in a facility at one time. However, there would be limits on class numbers and saunas and water fountains.

Beddie said it was really important people felt safe going back and knowing what protocols they were taking.

Les Mills has confirmed its gyms across the county will open on Friday - the second day of level 2.

The gym wanted the extra day to test all its systems and processes with its team under the new level 2 restrictions, according to its website.

The gym has rolled out a raft of new protocols - in line with Exercise NZ's framework - such as limiting the number of people in a class, ensuring physical distancing of 2m and at least 15m between each class, enhanced cleaning, installing Perspex separators at reception. Some of their staff will also be wearing masks.
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Lift Brand's chief executive for Asia Pacific, Andy Peat, said all their 58 Snap Fitness gyms and 9Round gyms would re-open on Thursday morning.

9Round gyms had circuits set up with equipment 2.5m apart, so they were perfect for level 2 restrictions, Peat said.

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Snap Fitness was ensuring that all the equipment was spaced 2m apart and using gym staff and commercial cleaners to ensure high hygiene standards were met.

Equipments was also being reorganised to ensure members were not facing each other. In smaller gyms it meant only every second piece of equipment would be in use while they would be spread further apart in bigger facilities.
Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

Peat encouraged people to build on the fitness habits they may have created during lockdown because the fitter you were the more immune you were.

"We will be doing everything in our power to keep you guys safe."

Meanwhile, Auckland Council has warned its facilities including 38 pools and leisure centres will be opened in a staggered approach to ensure it can support the strict hygiene and physical distancing measures required under level 2.

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