Safety Considerations for Sport, Fitness Clubs in the Context of COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic extends into 2021, gyms will need safety protocols in place until the population is sufficiently vaccinated. These considerations are a collaboration of IHRSA, Europe Active, and WFSGI and informed by WHO research and guidelines.
Millions of people around the world have been infected with COVID-19. Across multiple waves of outbreaks, governments around the world have closed or restricted almost every business category in some way. Health and fitness centers, assumed by many policymakers and consumer to be high-risk at the start of the pandemic. However, fitness facilities operating with safety protocols in place have been shown to be lower risk venues for COVID-19 transmission.
These safety protocols include:
- Physical distancing
- Sanitation and cleaning
- Enhanced ventilation and filtration
- Staff and member education and training, and
- Implementing mask and face covering policies
Key Considerations for Sports, Fitness, Aquatics & Ancillary Facilities/Clubs in the Context of COVID-19 is a result of collaboration between several working groups led by the International Health, Racquet, & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), World Federation Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), and EuropeActive. These working groups will continue to review and update the materials as evidence becomes available.
This document also includes the Risk Assessment Tool and Mitigation Checklist, which incorporates measures from the World Health Organization (WHO) general COVID-19 mitigation checklist as well as factors specific to sports and fitness centers.
“This document provides general advice on the key considerations on the health safety aspects of the operations of sports, fitness, aquatics, thermal facilities/clubs in the context of COVID-19. This document together with the accompanying COVID-19 Risk Assessment Tool and Mitigation Checklist has been developed to provide support to club/facility operators in helping to assess the specific additional risks, identifying mitigation measures, and making an informed evidence-based decision on reopening facilities.”