Be prepared for Stage 2 of COVIDSafe Australia

Article | Patrick Brown

Follow these simple tips to SAFELY OPEN YOUR GYM TO MEMBERS AGAIN

You are going to need to know precisely how large your gym floorspace is

Whilst there will be a lot of uncertainty moving from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of the opening up of the economy, the good news is we now have a rough timeline for gyms to reopen. We know some have setup at home while their gym was forced to close, but there is still a lot to miss about being in the gym. The range of equipment, the friendly faces, the atmosphere, the extremely loud techno music, and a structured training program are important reasons your members will want to come back.

The key to your members returning will be their confidence in measures taken to ensure their health. Will my gym have a social distancing policy? Will they limit numbers inside strictly? What will the cleaning and sanitizing plan be? If you can answer these questions with certainty, then your members will return.  

Start the discussions within your business in case you may be able to reopen again, and make sure you provide the most hygienic gym so that your members feel safe returning back to your gym. This might also be your chance to gain new members, as staying active is important to strengthen your immune system.

Large gym in a warehouse
Even when we move to stage 3, you will still need to maintain an average of four square metres per person, regardless of how large your gym is.


You are going to need to know precisely how large your gym floorspace is. If you don’t know, go and measure your floor space now. Under current government advise for stage 2, there must be four square metres for every one person for better social distancing, with up to 20 people indoors.

Even when we move to stage 3, you will still need to maintain an average of four square metres per person, regardless of how large your gym is. Your gym might be able to hold 50 people before COVID-19, but if you cant maintain the four square metres per person in stage 3, you will need to operate at lower member numbers to maintain that social distancing space.


When it comes to Boxing Gloves, Yoga Mats, Knitted bands or any other shared items, consider the new risks in having large numbers of members using that equipment. Porous surfaces will be difficult to sanitise, wipes may not be effective as the equipment will be able to absorb and store bacteria.

Ask members to maintain a set of their personal equipment for these high risk items. Take the opportunity to generate a new revenue stream via merchandising boxing gloves, boxing wraps, yoga workout mats and resistance bands. SMAI has bulk VIP pricing available allowing you to buy at wholesale rates and sell to members at retail. Create personal gym packs for your members so they can return with fresh, clean gear. If you dont have a VIP wholesale account yet for SMAI, contact our wonderful sales team today on 


If you haven’t already, make sure to get set up with club management software and get all your members to sign up. Your members can then book into time slots, and you can manage and restrict the number of people within your gym. With more people working from home, you may find that you will be able to fill the day time slots as well as the regular morning and evening times.

If there was a Covid-19 outbreak, you will also be able to isolate who was in the gym at what time, and responsibly notify those who could be impacted. Many software packages have a whole host of other features that you can benefit from – online bookings, membership management and even online programs can be developed. Don’t miss out on this digital revolution! We found a great club software comparison here on Capterra

4. alternate duties for your employees

Keep your employees busy and engaged. Workers all over Australia are being asked to be flexible and work with their employer. The Government has amended the Fair Work Act to enable employers who are entitled to receive the JobKeeper payment to temporarily vary working arrangements for eligible employees in order to keep people employed. The amendments to the Fair Work Act will only apply to national system employers who receive JobKeeper payments and can only be used for employees to whom those payments relate. These amendments cease entirely on 28 September 2020.

If an employer reasonably believes it is necessary to continue the employment of one or more employees, the employer can also give a JobKeeper Enabling Direction (JED) which directs an employee to perform any duties within their skill and competency (provided that the duties are safe, reasonably within the scope of the employer’s business operations and the employee is competent and licensed to perform those duties). This means that you may ask your employees who were previously trainers or admin to provide more cleaning.

You could consider setting up a cleaning schedule, for example, after every one-hour training slot, engage your employees to clean all equipment, communal areas and fixtures for thirty minutes. Communicating this cleaning schedule to your members will also give them the assurance to feel safe within your gym.

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5. CHECK YOUR LAYout and traffic flow

Make sure to check your layout, and move any equipment that may be too close. When changing the settings or the weight, make sure there is at least 1.5m clearance if two machines might be used simultaneously. Check your traffic flow as well. If your walkway is less than 2m width, then you may need to divert traffic to one way only per isle. Include markings on floor and signage to make this clear. For any doorways that may be commonly used, consider keeping these open to minimise contact with the door handles, and make alcohol-based hand sanitiser available at entrances.

Now more than ever is the perfect time to build your brand through online programs

6. Maintain your online programs, get targeted

Now more than ever is the perfect time to build your brand through online programs. Offering free online programs is a perfect way to get more leads, so that when gyms can return to normal business, they are more likely to sign up to your gym.

If you were thinking about expanding online already, this is a great opportunity to reach people all around Australia and worldwide, with everyone stuck inside and training at home, people are sitting at home searching for the next best thing to kill time. With the plethora of online training programs now available, make sure you can find your niche and target a specific market.

Otherwise, if you are thinking about franchising, this is also a good opportunity to target specific areas that you were planning on expanding into, so that when you setup there, your brand is easier to recognise and you’ll already have people ready to sign up.


If your equipment is starting to look worn out, with rips, rust, or stains that won’t go away, chances are these areas will hold an abundance of bacteria and make members feel uneasy about cleanliness. Now is a good chance to refresh your equipment, deep clean your machines and barbells, or replace any equipment that is beyond reparable.

Next look at your flooring – Are your Rubber Gym tiles and Artificial Turf in good shape, clean and presentable to members? Remember that member confidence is key, ensure your space is looking fresh top to bottom.

If you are currently using Jigsaw Mats, consider an upgrade to Dollamur mats instead, which have a non-porous tatami finish that won't absorb bacteria, and are easier to clean.

If you have shared training equipment such as shields, pads, mitts or gloves, they should all be cleaned and sanitised after every class. You could consider refreshing these with new gear, or have additional stock so that your members can purchase their own for individual use, and give you an additional revenue stream.

From 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, the instant asset write-off threshold amount for each asset has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 so that you can immediately write off the cost of each asset, and claim a tax deduction this financial year.

Full details of the program can be found on

Our fitness industry is all in this together. We look forward to the community moving forward - Please do the right thing and follow both federal and state government advice before opening your doors again.