Tomorrow the fitness operators from all over Switzerland will start again after almost 4 months! We have all been waiting for this great news for a long time and now, in the spirit of the entire fitness and health industry, we can show how important physical activity is for the population. The relief and especially the joy about the relaxation is our industry is more than palpable among fitness operators since last Wednesday afternoon. We at IG Fitness Schweiz wish everyone lots of power and success in the final preparations for the long awaited restart!
The opening step came as a surprise and the Federal Council has repeatedly stressed that they were taking a risk with the decision. However, it also demonstrates the confidence that the Federal Council and the FOPH have in our work to promote health and in the implementation and enforcement of protection concepts.
For this reason, another “preparatory meeting” was held last Friday evening with Mr. Honegger from the FDHA, Dr. Salveter from the FOPH and the fitness representatives. On the part of the federal authorities, it was very clearly stated that they only consider the opening step for the fitness industry to be sustainable if the protection concepts are implemented prudently and consistently. To this end, it is necessary that all operators conscientiously exercise their self-responsibility.
In plain language and as an important conclusion, this means:
- Renewed “mask confusion” due to different interpretations of the Regulation will not be tolerated. The implementation of the Regulation on this very point is a key factor for sustainable openness.
- Accordingly, the control authorities have also been informed of the need to ensure compliance with this point in particular. Reference was again made to the ordinance and there again to the specifications for protection concepts, paragraph 3.1quater, in which the exceptions are described:
For indoor sporting activities referred to in Article 6e(1)(b)(2) without a face mask, the following shall apply:
- An area of at least 25 square metres must be available for the exclusive use of each person, or effective barriers must be provided between each person.
- In the case of a sport which does not involve any significant physical effort and which does not involve leaving the allocated space, the minimum area is 15 square metres per person.
- In indoor swimming pools, a water surface of 25 square metres must be available per person.
- No more than 15 people are allowed in a room.
- The room shall have effective ventilation.
What does this mean concretely for the implementation of the operators or for the training WITHOUT or WITH mask:
- If the three-sided spit shield around cardio equipment described in our protection concept is not seamlessly closed and therefore this area cannot be considered as a separate “room”, the training without a mask where the equipment is located, will be possible only if MAXIMUM 15 people are in the room and the 25m2 (corresponds to a distance of 5m on all sides) must be observed!
- If we assume that equipment areas for endurance training are not necessarily in a single separate room, but only make up one area of a total training area on which customers with masks train on other equipment and the number of customers exceeds 15, then masks must also be worn on the endurance equipment!
- For the group fitness room it is clear: If no 25m2 per person or 15m2 per person (with no significant physical exertion) can be guaranteed, the group fitness training has to take place WITH a mask!
- One of the FOPH’s recommendations is to do performance cardio outdoors for the time being.
Conclusion and Appeal:
- The authorities will rigorously close down facilities which, in their opinion, do not comply with the ordinance, and we have already been informed of this in consultation with the cantons in recent days. Among other things, we have also added the following sentence to the protection concept at the suggestion of the cantons: IMPORTANT: The protection measures must be strictly observed and enforced by the operator.
- If the lapses accumulate, we run the risk of renewed closures, which is certainly not in the interests of the industry.
For IG Fitness Schweiz, the goal of the entire industry is clear: we do not want another closure! The onus is now on us to show that the fitness industry can work cooperatively with the authorities. From now on, we can also prove that we offer safe and preventive training and make our social contribution to the management of the pandemic.
The team of IG Fitness Switzerland!