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Gym user
Photograph: Victor Freitas/Unsplash

How a trip to the gym may look in NSW when they finally reopen

Rules now in effect in other states offer a glimpse of what the new normal may be

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On June 1, gyms opened in Queensland and the ACT for the first time since fitness and sporting venues were ordered closed in mid-March. Meanwhile, in NSW, fitness fans have been waiting with bated breath to learn when local gyms may reopen and what restrictions may be in place when they do.

There have been several tantalising signs that an announcement about gyms reopening in NSW is imminent. A little over a week ago, the deputy premier, John Barilaro, said in a 2GB Radio interview that gyms were set to reopen within a month and at a press briefing on June 1, premier Gladys Berejiklian said a decision would be formally announced within days.

So, what will a trip to the gym look like once their doors are allowed to reopen? If ACT and QLD's rules are any indication, the average gym session will require a little more organisation than before.

In those two states, gyms are limited to a maximum of 20 people per space within a gym premises, which may be a relatively easy ask for gyms spread over multiple floors with multiple exercise studios. However, open plan gyms have the option to create multiple discrete spaces using partitions, to allow more people to use gym facilities at any given time.

Gym users will also be limited to one hour of training per day at any one gym. That is to say that it would be possible for someone who wanted to train more often to visit two different gyms in the same day but not a single premises twice.

Gym sessions will also need to be booked in advance to ensure gyms can comply with the maximum occupancy rules, so trying to catch a quick session on the fly will be a thing of the past for now.

While the federal government has produced a set of 'national principles' advising the best practice for gyms and sporting facilities, the fine detail of how gyms will be allowed to operate is decided by individual state governments. While NSW has logged the highest number of cases since the outbreak began, it currently has some of the most generous public restrictions in place, with a maximum of 50 people permitted in hospitality venues, and museums, galleries, visitor attractions, public pools and beauty salons all permitted to open. 

Remember, as restrictions ease it is more important than ever to follow physical distancing rules. Here's everything you need to know.

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