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Sport
Virgin Active has 50% capacity

Virgin Active opened its doors at the end of August after being closed for five months during lockdown. It did not levy membership fees in this period.

Wiaan van Jaarsveld, Club Manager of Virgin Active’s Paarl branch, says it was great to welcome members back on 24 August after preparing for hygiene and social distancing protocols.

“We’ve even welcomed many new members. The one consistent thing is change, and we are negotiating our way through constant change, be it mask regulations or capacity restrictions.”

The wearing of masks is no longer mandatory while doing “vigorous” exercise at the gym, new government regulations have determined. However, gym goers have to stay at least 2 metres away from a fellow gym member at the time.

At the end of August, government has gazetted regulations that restrict gyms to 50 people or fewer. However, after consulting its lawyers, Virgin Active is now allowing more than 50 people onto the premises at a time.

The health club now believes the restriction applies to gatherings of people in the gym, but not the whole gym.

The gym group is now only limiting the number of members at any one time to 50% of what it could accommodate if everyone in the club maintained a distance of 1,5 metres from each other.

This means members no longer have to book their visits – only their group classes. However, the gym will still need to manage capacity, and urges members to refer to club capacity indicators on its website, which will show them how busy the club is throughout the day.

“We know exercise offers many benefits, including emotional, physical and immunity, but coming back into the space and seeing the eagerness of the members who have returned, one is reminded of the accountability and sociability that working out in our clubs offers members,” says Van Jaarsveld.

Acknowledging every member’s level of comfort is different, he welcomes members to come visit the club to see first-hand the health measures it has in place and the social distancing the gym offers.

“If you feel ready to return, that’s great. Consider working with a personal trainer to get back into your routine safely. If someone’s preference is to work out from home for now, we have more than 350 online and live workouts for members to benefit from.”

For those members not yet ready, Virgin Active will continue to freeze their membership for at least a further two months after its reopening.

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