Under the direction of CEN (The European Committee for Standardization) a Working Group of experts are urgently developing standards for operating and managing fitness clubs during an infectious outbreak – such as we are experiencing in the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new Technical Specification will bring together the very best practices, guidance and evidence available which is offered by European governments, health officials and experts from the fitness and sport sectors. With the benefit of practical experience(s), it is possible to determine European guidelines and recommendations that help implement the safest possible health and hygiene measures at fitness centres which can be used to minimize the spread of a pandemic virus, keep fitness staff, customers and contractors as risk free as possible, bring clarity and to establish user confidence.
The intention is to create the guidance through the Technical Specification that will enable fitness facilities to remain open that will help maintaining levels of health-enhancing physical activity, which will also mitigate longer-term healthcare costs and the effects of mental welfare and social isolation, underpining the financial security of the business, keeping fitness facility staff in employment and maintaining a community resource operating.
The political message of the importance of people keeping physically active is a prime consideration in this work which should help to keep clubs and their services operating and thereby adding considerably to the maintenance and improvement of the social, mental and physical wellbeing of people. In addition to experts from across the European fitness sector others are joining with special expertise in virology epidemiology, membership tracking/digital systems and importantly in ventilation of exercise areas and the prevention of transmission through aerosol contamination.
The Technical Specification will cover all operational and managerial considerations for users – including customers, staff and contractors. The next meeting of the Working Group takes place in mid-December 2020 when the current national and industry guidance will be consolidated into a draft. A detailed set of specifications for operational practice will become available from mid-January 2021.
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