I have been asked this question several times in the past few days, and it has taken a while to find the definitive answer: do we need to close our in-house strata gyms and swimming pools, under the coronavirus lockdown laws?
The government notices over the past few days didn’t mention apartment block gyms and pools although a couple of blocks jumped the gun and closed theirs anyway, basically because they didn’t know and didn’t want to take the risk.
Yesterday, my own block decided to lock up the gym and pool, citing a line from the government outlining what kind of premises should be banned.
I was dubious. I hadn’t seen this anywhere. But after a little digging I found the decree from state Health Minister Brad Hazzard, called “Public Health (COVID-19 Places of Social Gathering) Order 2020.”
In it the government orders, among others, the closure of indoor recreational facilities and that is defined in the document as “a building or place used predominantly for indoor recreation, whether or not operated for the purposes of gain, including … gymnasium.” (My emphasis).
So it seems your apartment block gym has been blacklisted, as has any indoor swimming pool.
As for outdoor pools, if you can’t police the prescribed social distancing limits, you’d probably better close it … there’s not enough chlorine in the world.
Counter-intuitively, the government is urging us to exercise at home, presumably because it improves our immune systems. But, if you’re used to putting your cardio into battle against your calories in group classes, you might be struggling.
However, there’s a stack of workout videos and streaming services online so there’s no excuse.
Fitness First has just teamed up with the Centr.com online training website to make Chris Hemsworth’s training program available to members free of charge.
But if you’re not a Fitness First member, just Google search online or streaming workouts and a world of sweat and pain will be open to you, from aerobics to Zumba.