Words by the CEO of AUSactive, Barrie Elvish
It was great to see further relaxations in COVID restrictions being announced over the weekend; most NSW citizens are keen to get back to any kind of new normality after twenty months of uncertainty.
However, while most relaxations were understandable and clearly the result of balancing risks with reward one sticks out as being illogical – continued group exercise restrictions.
It is counter intuitive that people can go back to indoor entertainment venues including nightclubs, where dancing is permitted in larger numbers, but group exercise classes remain restricted to only 20 people.
Let’s analyse the two contexts.
Both settings require a 2 square metre social distancing; but that’s where the comparison ends.
In a nightclub alcohol is readily available and, as the night progresses, it is safe to assume that social distance barriers will dissolve and, depending on the participants and their inhibitions, or not, physical contact will be prevalent.
Apart from a possible resident DJ the dance floor activities will also be unsupervised until the club closes many hours later.
Now consider that environment with a group exercise class where there is no social contact, a safety motivation to maintain social distancing, no alcohol and the class is supervised from start to finish, approximately forty-five minutes later.
Imposing an unnecessary class/group size limitation on fitness, health and exercise facilities denies many individuals from their chosen exercise regime, with their friends, in an environment where all participants are double vaccinated and in facilities with the sole purpose to improve their mental and physical wellbeing.
Even the most concerned Health official must acknowledge that group exercise is a significantly safer activity.
Please explain Mr Premier?