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COVID in Europe – health club operating restriction update
POSTED 26 Nov 2021 . BY Tom Walker
Social distancing measures and limits on capacity are again in place in a number of European countries Credit: Shutterstock/MikeDotta
An increase in COVID-19 cases across Europe is forcing governments to introduce restrictions on business operations
The restrictions are having an impact on the continent's health and fitness market
A full lockdown in Austria has forced all health clubs and gyms to close entirely
More than 20 European countries now have restrictions or vaccination passes in place
Increases in COVID-19 cases across Europe are forcing governments to introduce restrictions, which is having an impact on some parts of the Continent's health and fitness market.

HCM has researched the situation across Europe and also worked in partnership with EuropeActive to disseminate information, as the organisation is tracking the state of play via its networks and logging these on a live web portal.

A number of countries remain completely open, including the UK, Norway, Portugal, Bosnia and Macedonia.

The next tier – operating under restrictions, ranging from limits on capacity to social distancing measures and opening time constraints – includes Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden, with the Netherlands entering into a stricter regime on Sunday 28th November, when gyms were asked to close between 5.00pm and 5.00am for three weeks.

In the Netherlands, there are also limits on the number of people being allowed per indoor space, with a 1.5m social distancing order in place.

In Germany, a "3G rule" – short for “geimpft, getestet and genesen", meaning you must be "vaccinated, tested or recovered" to be allowed to use the gym – is in place across the country, with additional restrictions also varying across the individual states.

3G is aligned with an EU Directive which governs the movement of people in the time of COVID from a human rights perspective.

In France, gyms are currently being obliged to operate at 50 per cent capacity and with 2m social distancing in place. A Pass Sanitaire (health pass) must also be presented as proof of a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination.

In Italy, a 2m social distance must be respected and either a negative COVID-19 test or proof that the visitor has been vaccinated must also be provided.

In total, more than 20 European countries have now introduced vaccination passes and/or the requirement for those wanting to visit health clubs to provide proof of vaccination or recovery.

A full lockdown in Austria has forced all health clubs and gyms to close entirely until 13 December, when the decision will be reviewed.

In the UK, changes to mask-wearing guidance came into effect on 30 November, requiring people to wear face coverings in a range of settings from shops and supermarkets to banks, travel agents, public transport and pharmacies.

The ruling will also impact the spa industry, as it covers 'barbers, hair salons, tattoo and piercing studios, nail salons and massage centres', however, gyms and health clubs are exempt at this time. The ruling will be reviewed in three weeks (20 December), in time for the Christmas holiday.

EuropeActive's map of restrictions can be accessed here.
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NEWS
COVID in Europe – health club operating restriction update
POSTED 26 Nov 2021 . BY Tom Walker
Social distancing measures and limits on capacity are again in place in a number of European countries Credit: Shutterstock/MikeDotta
An increase in COVID-19 cases across Europe is forcing governments to introduce restrictions on business operations
The restrictions are having an impact on the continent's health and fitness market
A full lockdown in Austria has forced all health clubs and gyms to close entirely
More than 20 European countries now have restrictions or vaccination passes in place
Increases in COVID-19 cases across Europe are forcing governments to introduce restrictions, which is having an impact on some parts of the Continent's health and fitness market.

HCM has researched the situation across Europe and also worked in partnership with EuropeActive to disseminate information, as the organisation is tracking the state of play via its networks and logging these on a live web portal.

A number of countries remain completely open, including the UK, Norway, Portugal, Bosnia and Macedonia.

The next tier – operating under restrictions, ranging from limits on capacity to social distancing measures and opening time constraints – includes Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden, with the Netherlands entering into a stricter regime on Sunday 28th November, when gyms were asked to close between 5.00pm and 5.00am for three weeks.

In the Netherlands, there are also limits on the number of people being allowed per indoor space, with a 1.5m social distancing order in place.

In Germany, a "3G rule" – short for “geimpft, getestet and genesen", meaning you must be "vaccinated, tested or recovered" to be allowed to use the gym – is in place across the country, with additional restrictions also varying across the individual states.

3G is aligned with an EU Directive which governs the movement of people in the time of COVID from a human rights perspective.

In France, gyms are currently being obliged to operate at 50 per cent capacity and with 2m social distancing in place. A Pass Sanitaire (health pass) must also be presented as proof of a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination.

In Italy, a 2m social distance must be respected and either a negative COVID-19 test or proof that the visitor has been vaccinated must also be provided.

In total, more than 20 European countries have now introduced vaccination passes and/or the requirement for those wanting to visit health clubs to provide proof of vaccination or recovery.

A full lockdown in Austria has forced all health clubs and gyms to close entirely until 13 December, when the decision will be reviewed.

In the UK, changes to mask-wearing guidance came into effect on 30 November, requiring people to wear face coverings in a range of settings from shops and supermarkets to banks, travel agents, public transport and pharmacies.

The ruling will also impact the spa industry, as it covers 'barbers, hair salons, tattoo and piercing studios, nail salons and massage centres', however, gyms and health clubs are exempt at this time. The ruling will be reviewed in three weeks (20 December), in time for the Christmas holiday.

EuropeActive's map of restrictions can be accessed here.
RELATED STORIES
A million people in England have stopped exercising due to COVID


The pandemic has had an "unprecedented" impact on physical activity levels in England, with 1 million more adults becoming physically inactive in the 12 months to May 2021.
FEATURE: Insight: Global fitness report


Qualtrics surveyed 12,157 consumers in 15 countries in seven languages to create the Les Mills 2021 Global Fitness Report, as Jak Phillips explains
More US cities announce health club vaccine mandates


A number of US cities have begun announcing vaccine mandates for indoor facilities, including health clubs and fitness studios.
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Trib3 takes fitness to the metaverse in deal to use The Sandbox
Boutique chain Trib3 will become one of the first fitness operators to establish a presence in the metaverse, making its workouts available in The Sandbox.
NordicTrack launches voice-controlled dumbbells that work with Amazon's Alexa
At-home fitness brand NordicTrack from iFIT has launched what it says are the first voice-controlled, adjustable dumbbells to work with Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa.
National survey to explore mental health of fitness sector workforce
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