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New Zealand’s facilities are prepared and ready to operate from 11.59pm tonight in the new covid omicron red setting, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says. 

“Auckland has done this before and the rest of the gyms in Aotearoa have had detailed guidance from us since December last year,” he says 

“Our major concern moving forward is that the government holds the course on this and doesn’t buckle to the emotional fear-mongering by the small number of high profile but non-scientific epidemiologists who want to lock us down and put further restrictions in place.  

“We implore the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to engage with us if they are planning new protocols for the exercise industry because we can help. But we think the balance is right at red. 

“ExerciseNZ has been a world leader since the pandemic arrived, playing a major role in helping countries set protocols and frameworks for exercise facilities within a covid environment.”

It is a leading non-profit organisation which represents more than 550 exercise facilities such as gyms, recreation facilities and yoga studios, as well as managing the registration of more than 3500 exercise professionals. 

The ExerciseNZ framework how to operate during covid and now omicron was developed to provide a safe environment for New Zealanders wanting to attend exercise facilities so it met government’s requirements, but also international best practice.

Beddie says the exercise industry takes covid safety seriously and is taking all practicable steps to ensure this. By offering guidance for exercise providers to use at green, orange and red settings. 

“The key protocols for gyms and indoor exercise facilities at red are: compulsory use of vaccine passes for staff and members, limits on capacity, and thorough sanitation practices. We want to tell the exercising public to stay away/get tested if you have symptoms, but otherwise keep exercising – it not only provides mental health benefits, but covid protection too.”

For further information contact Richard Beddie on 027 5205744 or Make Lemonade NZ editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188