Fitness lovers will face new restrictions from 4pm today when they go to gyms in Sydney and surrounding areas.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced new rules covid rules for Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour.
It included the wearing of masks indoors including in workplaces and at gyms for the next week.
For the first time, Ms Berejiklian said those attending group classes in gyms would also have to wear masks. Classes will also be limited to 20 people.
Those working out on exercise equipment such as treadmills will not have to wear a mask.
Premier Health and Fitness owner Matt Dominello told news.com.au that the rule on mask wearing in classes was the biggest change and would require some adjustment.
“We will probably add more breaks to make sure people are OK and may have to adjust our timetables accordingly,” he said.
He said some of the heavier cardio classes may also have to be cut.
“Hopefully it’s only for seven days,” he said.
Mr Dominello said members had previously adapted to other rules including the four square metre rule.
“Already people are walking in with face masks, we have found to date that people are adaptable and follow guidelines so hopefully this will continue.”
He doesn’t expect the rules to impact his venue in Brookvale on Sydney’s northern beaches but said he was already seeing less people at his CBD gym due to more people working from home this week.
“Our city gym is more impacted than our suburban gym but people are happy to exercise provided they are happy with the environment, that it is safe and clean.”
Mr Dominello said he thought Ms Berejiklian’s government had done a great job so far and he agreed with the latest rules. He said the majority of members also did the right thing.
“I think it comes back to confidence in what Gladys is doing,” he said.
“If people have confidence they’re happy to comply with the restrictions in place. Whereas if you lose faith in your leader, it tends to go the other way.”
Infectious diseases expert Professor Peter Collignon of Australian National University said restrictions on gyms were necessary because they did seem to be higher risk venues for coronavirus spread.
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“It’s hard to wear a mask to exercise, unfortunately gyms are one of the riskier places for covid transmission, along with bars and crowded restaurants,” Prof Collignon told news.com.au.
Some on social media seemed amazed that NSW had decided to keep gyms open.
The NSW Government has also placed restrictions on other indoor venues including the re-introduction of the one person per four square metre rule.
Masks are also compulsory, including in workplaces and organised outdoor events.
People will need to be seated in venues while drinking, and singing at churches and other places of worship is not allowed.
Dancing will not be allowed except for at weddings (restricted to up to 20 members of the bridal party).
Anyone living in the seven local government areas of City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra, is not allowed to undertake non-essential travel outside of the metropolitan Sydney area.