*UK active Covid-19, A framework for the re-opening of the gym and fitness industry
A message from our director:
"For the front line workers reading this I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to you all. Personally I cannot thank you all enough from myself and the allGym family. We have certainly had a very challenging time with this pandemic but what has been amazing to see is how our communities have pulled together. I always smile when I see the #allinthistogether as I am reminded of the very reason I came up with the name allGym. We are all part of a community. All of us and the team here at allGym feel very fortunate that we have so many frontline staff working to ensure we are all safe".
1. How will the club comply with social distancing?
In order to comply with, monitor and enforce social distancing we have taken extensive measures to plan, prepare and implement new procedures, and practices.
This has included working with the UK active framework, HSQE (Health, Safety, Quality and Environmental) experts to develop strategies, processes and procedures to develop the required technical operating guidance for our members, staff and supply chains.
Due to the sheer size of our gym and 2m spacing of our equipment we are in a position to safely allow members to use the facilities as before but will limit the number of users to conform to the 1 person per 3m2 in accordance with government guidelines.
2. Can you still safely provide group exercise?
Yes we can. Due to having such a large studio we can comfortably allow up to 24 people in for group exercise that enables social distancing of over 2m.
3. Will you continue to offer virtual services?
Yes our on demand feature on the allGym app is continuously updated with content such as pre-recorded group exercise, as well as having a database of thousands of exercises, with a number of home workout plans available for free and being able to purchase tailor made plans from Personal Trainers. We will continue offering these services on an ongoing basis as it allows our members to access fitness content, whether at home or wherever they are in the world through the allGym app. It is important all paying members have access to the virtual services but at this moment in time it is especially so as it allows at risk members to benefit from access to fitness content from home.
4. How will you enforce social distancing?
In order to maintain compliance with social distancing we will have floor tape marking the 2m social distancing as well as directional arrows to guide members through the one-way system. The one-way system is straight forward and easy to follow which our members will very quickly become accustomed to. We will also have posters and other signs on walls throughout the club to remind members of the social distancing as well as regular floor walks by staff members.
5. What changes to procedures and policies will you implement to prevent people gathering in certain areas?
By communicating verbally to our members that floor signs and wall signs are advising of the new mandatory rules we have in place, that we have adopted a 3-strike policy in that any member who acts in otherwise accordance with the new rules will be removed from the club and banned for a discretionary period.
We have a large entrance leading to the turnstiles and reception, which is beneficial because we can safely accommodate small groups, however as part of the new rules there will be no waiting in the entrance before or after using the facilities. Members will not be allowed to stand and talk to staff unless there is a membership, club or health related issue. Changing rooms will be restricted for toilet use only. Urinals, toilets and sinks will be reduced to ensure they are fully compliant with social distancing.
The free-weight area of the club will be the most closely monitored due to the fluent movement that occurs there. Members will be advised of the mandatory practices they must follow and floor markings will clarify areas in which no more than 1 person is allowed at any given time. Our members are to assume a level of responsibility and to follow common sense in order to be respectful and considerate of other members, allGym staff and the club.
6. How often will staff clean surfaces and machines?
Working closely with HSQE experts, highly trained cleaning staff and with the consultation of microbiology specialists in setting, maintaining and implementing a strict and thorough hygiene management system.
· Hourly cleaning of high touch areas such as door handles, machine handles, taps
· Members will be asked to sanitise their hands upon entry and exit of the club
· Members will be asked to sanitise equipment before and after each use
· Access control pin pad to be cleaned after each use
· Using EPA registered and approved chemical disinfectants to clean all surfaces, floors, and equipment frequently throughout the day
· All high touch areas and equipment will be cleaned once daily by using a specialist cleaning product Sani-7 which kills the virus Covid-19 and provides a full protection coating lasting up to 7 days. We could use this once every 7 days but ensuring the health and safety of our staff and members is paramount and our number one priority so we are choosing to do this every day.
· The revised timetable for group exercise will allow a 10-minute period in between classes for the studio to be cleaned in between each class.
· The studio and the club throughout have a natural air flow system which is perfect for these conditions, a point made by the HSQE expert, stating that unlike air conditioning which circulates the same air, our natural circulation system brings fresh air in from outside and takes the used air inside, back out.
7. What about mats, bands, dumbbells and other hard to clean surfaces and equipment?
Members will be advised it is mandatory to clean all equipment after use.
Members will be advised it is recommended to clean equipment before use for peace of mind in knowing the equipment is clean. On top of this, all hard to clean equipment will be cleaned by staff daily with Sani-7 which as stated previously kills the virus Covid-19 and provides a full protection coating of the equipment for up to 7 days.
Can you explain what a full protection coating means? Yes this means any surface cleaned with Sani-7 will continue to kill the virus upon contact for up to 7 days. So for example if a person who is Covid-19 positive touches a dumbbell and transfers the virus to that dumbbell the protective coating will kill it leaving the dumbbell completely safe to use.
8. Are there any additional cleaning procedures you will add?
We are looking into fog cleaning which will be carried out when the club is closed and our Health and Safety Team are researching the use of ultraviolet light. At the moment, however, we feel confident with the new cleaning procedures and the exceptional standard of hygiene we have always had we that provide top quality facilities and services under the safest of environments.
9. How will staff who are responsible for cleaning be protected from exposure?
As well as following social distancing guidelines, cleaning staff will be provided with 3 ply CE certified disposable masks, gloves and ongoing support to provide training, information and updates regarding Covid-19.
10. Will other members of staff be required to wear PPE?
PPE will be available to all staff members including disposable 3 ply CE certified face masks and gloves. The same PPE will also be available at reception to purchase for members. For £1 members will receive a face mask, gloves, and a sealed plastic bag. We ask all staff and members to dispose of them after use by placing them in the bag, resealing and putting them into one of our closed sanitisation bins.
11. How will you communicate and enforce good cleaning practices?
Signs will be placed around the club as reminders, cleaning stations will be wall mounted on pillars and in several other places around the club. Spray bottles and blue roll will also be placed on every piece of resistance machines. Emails, social media posts and in person upon entering the club will all be utilised to communicate the mandatory new rules. We will now have a declaration for members to read and sign to confirm they will comply with all new rules, processes and procedures at all times whilst using the facilities. Staff monitoring the gym floor regularly to ensure good cleaning practices are being followed.
12. How many staff members will you need to carry out phase one of reopening?
We will have total of 12 members of staff working on a rotational shift pattern. We believe having a higher staff level than previously further enhances our ability to ensure the health and safety of both staff and members.
13. How will you communicate any changes to staff roles?
All changes to staff roles will be detailed in a new Employee Handbook and Manual. This will be communicated verbally, by demonstration and in writing. Every staff member will be fully trained to be up to date with the latest in protocol to competently carry out any related tasks within their new roles. Each member of staff will be required to sign the new Employee Handbook to confirm their completion of each module of new training. The General Manager will then sign to confirm the staff member is fully trained in their respective roles.
14. How will you ensure your practices protect returning staff to exposure of Covid-19?
Testing prior to return to work if its available will be carried out. Health checks daily including temperature checks and monitoring any signs of displaying Covid-19 symptoms. All necessary PPE will be available to staff and where appropriate will be mandatory.
Temperature checks will also be carried out on every member upon entering the club, through the use of a CE and FDA certified, non-contact infrared thermometer. Our reception area has a depth of over 2m, offeing protection for staff.
When carrying out a transaction members will be asked to step back to the 2m markings so that the card reader can be placed on the reception counter, the member can then make payment and step back to the 2m markings so the card reader can be retrieved and cleaned with a sanitising wipe. Same method with cash and all cash will be sterilised at the end of each day. Exact money only will be accepted when taking cash. No change will be given.
15. Will any area or facilities be closed during phase 1 of reopening?
Yes there are certain areas that will either be restricted or closed. Some of the cardio equipment as mentioned earlier will be out of use to comply with social distancing. The boxing ring will be out of use and punch bags reduced from 4 to 2 but skipping/core areas and speedball will still be available. Lockers will be out of use in the changing rooms as will showers and toilets, urinals and sinks will be reduced to ensure social distancing.
16. Will there be any changes to opening hours?
A decision has not yet been made to make any changes to opening hours, although we are considering the possibility of extending them to 24 hours during the week. This is primarily being considered for NHS, support workers, key workers, police and others working so hard and working unsociable hours on the front line of defence.