It is not possible to completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19 anywhere in society, including fitness centers. However, we have provided a framework for managing and minimizing risks associated with COVID-19 in exercise facilities. This framework was created with reference to the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, as well as in consultations with club operators and federations partners worldwide.
The framework was designed with the following goals in mind:
- mitigating risk and enabling health and fitness clubs to reopen and remain open,
- providing a safe and supportive place for physical activity, and
- pursuing mental health and physical well-being.
Fitness centers play an important role in helping people stay active, and improve their physical and mental health and well-being. As the world continues to navigate the challenges of COVID-19, as well as its associated social isolation, stress, anxiety, and economic impacts, we need physical activity more than ever.
The Four-pronged Framework for Health Club Reopening was first released in May 2020, based on the best available epidemiological evidence. The new Four-pronged Framework has been updated to reflect new evidence.
You will see three key changes to the safety protocols:
- Given the widespread occurrence of asymptomatic COVID-19, some screening protocols including temperature checks and symptom questionnaires are less impactful than originally thought. It is still important to ensure members who come to the club have not been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person or someone who is quarantining, have not traveled to any restricted areas without testing negative, and are not currently awaiting a COVID-19 test result.
- Ventilation and airflow, as well as physical distancing, have taken on increased importance given the emerging evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted via airborne aerosols more than six feet away.
- Mask policies have also increased in importance, especially in areas with higher levels of community transmission. It may even be necessary to require members to exercise in their mask, depending on the regulations in place where you are located.
Additionally, IHRSA has launched the Active & Safe Commitment as a way to publicly commit to upholding the safety protocols outlined in the Four-pronged Framework. Learn more about the Active & Safe Commitment.