TIGHTER health restrictions will come into place for gyms from Saturday.
From this weekend, all gyms will be required to employ a permanent on-site hygiene marshal to ensure social distancing, equipment cleaning and hand sanitiser availability.
On Thursday, Victoria recorded 723 new cases of COVID-19, meaning from 11.59pm on Sunday night, every regional Victorian must wear a mask when out of their home.
But the effects are being felt around the country with World Gym Port Macquarie owner Casey Hyde admitting the new restrictions would mean an end to members' 24-hour access.
The well-being and health of our members is our number one priority.- World Gym owner Casey Hyde
"It's not possible to have our doors open 24 hours a day; the majority of our clients will come in between 4.30am and 10pm Monday to Friday," she said.
"From Friday night at 10pm we won't be a 24-hour gym for the foreseeable future."
The result would mean some additional financial strain on a business that has been operating for merely 12 months.
"It just means we'll have to have one more person (as a hygiene marshal) to help fill in the gaps," Hyde said.
"The well-being and health of our members is our number one priority so we'll do whatever it takes to minimise the risk and maximise our members' experience without having to affect their routines too much.
It's not just about the extra labour.- Challenge Fitness manager Dennis Tozer
"Everyone is affected so there is no point jumping up and down; we just have to make the best of bad situation."
"It's going to be a bit harder of a weekend."
Challenge Fitness Port Macquarie manager Dennis Tozer said management would now work longer shifts to minimise the financial strain.
"It's a trying period," he said.
"In NSW the virus is spreading pretty rapidly and we have had to do courses and follow a COVID-safe plan, but we're probably spending an extra $100 a week on cleaning just in materials.
"It's not just about the extra labour."
Mr Tozer admitted having a 24/7 option meant relying on patrons to do the right thing outside the busy periods and "most people have been very good".
"It's in their own interest too," he said.
"We're walking around, cleaning ... we clean nearly all day, but as long as we've got plenty of wipes it all works."
We have to monitor where people are coming from and want to set the standard.- Anytime Fitness owner Craig Wright
Anytime Fitness Port Macquarie owner Craig Wright said the biggest restriction would be that they also could no longer operate a 24-hour service.
"That's going to impact on shift workers and people like emergency service workers and nurses," he said.
"We might lose those members and income which is our biggest concern, but we want to be here for our members and make sure they're looked after."
Mr Wright said they would employ extra people as hygiene marshals who would walk the floor and make sure all equipment is "spick and span."
"All our machines will be hygienically cleaned every 15 minutes," he said.
Being proactive rather than reactive will be the key to keeping the virus at bay with Anytime Fitness one of the biggest brands in Australia.
"It enables people from over 500 locations to come in and use it so there is a risk of people coming from different areas and bringing COVID with them," he said.
"We have to monitor where people are coming from and want to set the standard that all our clubs in New South Wales are adhering to a set standard of hygiene practices and cleanliness.
"We're going over and above to keep our members healthy."
Executive director of health protection Dr Jeremy McAnulty said the state was at a "knife's edge" given clusters were now popping up outside southwest Sydney.
"This is concerning and that's why we need everyone in the community to do their bit," he said.
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