For general workplace guidelines, please refer to COVID-19 Workplace Information. All businesses operating in Saskatchewan must be in compliance with these guidelines. The information below provides specific guidelines for operators of gyms and fitness facilities.
- Gyms and fitness facilities are included in Phase 3 of Re-Open Saskatchewan under the following condition:
- Re-opening gyms and fitness facilities promotes physical and mental wellness. Physical distancing must be maintained and stringent cleaning and disinfecting protocols must be established.
- Where possible, gyms and fitness centres should only be open when at least one staff member is present. If patrons have uncontrolled access, it is not possible to ensure physical distancing rules are followed or disinfection of equipment is being performed after each use.
- If 24-hour unrestricted access is available without staff present, operators must have a mechanism to keep track of attendees at all times. Clients must check in and check out, including name and contact information via fob use, tracing apps or sign-in sheets to support contact tracing if required.
- Clients should be screened upon arrival by asking if they are sick or symptomatic. If they answer in the affirmative, they should not be allowed to enter.
- Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should go straight home and contact HealthLine 811 for further guidance. If a patron is severely sick (e.g. difficulty breathing, chest pain, etc.), call 911.
- Staff experiencing symptoms of the illness (fever, cough or difficulty breathing) must be sent home. Workplaces should have an employee illness policy to encourage staff who are sick to stay home.
- Whenever possible, use contactless forms of payment and check-in.
- The number of patrons allowed into the facility at one time should be limited to:
- Ensure there is sufficient space to allow patrons to remain two metres apart;
- Prevent congregating; and
- Allow staff time to clean and disinfect equipment and other surfaces frequently.
- Consider using a booking system that allows a limited number of patrons to book and attend a specified time slot. Ensure there is sufficient time between time slots for cleaning and disinfection of the facility and equipment, as well as to reduce crowding (e.g. at check-in counter).
- Limit the number of members in the facility at one time. Only people working out should be in the facility.
- Place markers such as tape or cones every two metres to provide clients with visible queues that encourage physical distancing.
- Signage should be on display throughout the facility reinforcing key messages of physical distancing, wiping equipment and hygiene protocols.
- Consider directing traffic within the facility with one-way flow (where possible) using floor markers/stickers. Clearly mark entrances and exits.
- Physical distancing must be observed at all times. Equipment should be spaced at least two metres apart or barriers should be erected between equipment. If removal of equipment or erection of barriers is not possible, equipment closer than two metres apart should be closed to use.
- Group fitness classes that involve intense aerobic or physical training (e.g. aerobics, Zumba, spin) pose a higher risk of transmission of the virus due to the intense physical exercise and turbulent air flow from the activity. These types of classes can be offered if three metres of physical distancing can be maintained at all times. Class size (including the instructor) must comply with the public gathering restrictions in a space that allows for increased ventilation and air circulation.
- Group fitness classes that involve lower intensity activity (e.g. yoga, pilates) have a lower risk of transmission, as there is less turbulent air flow. These types of classes can be offered if two metres of physical distancing can be maintained at all times. Class size (including the instructor) must comply with the public gathering restrictions in a space that allows for increased ventilation and air circulation.
- Consider creating set groupings of classes by assigning specific times for the same people to participate.
- To ensure people maintain appropriate separation, use tape, markers, paint and signage. When possible, offer these services online or in an outdoor space. If group classes are offered, they should be scheduled to allow staff enough time to disinfect equipment and surfaces between classes.
- Encourage customers to bring their own personal equipment, such as yoga mats, etc.
- Minimize congestion in the facility by managing flow or clients, including the entrance. Consider developing online sign-up systems, with set durations for workouts.
- Operators must promote physical distancing whenever possible and discourage congregating. Clients should be encouraged to conduct their workouts and exit the facility without unnecessary delays.
- Equipment should not be shared or used simultaneously (e.g. working in sets).
- Postpone or cancel events that encourage people to congregate.
- Group facilities and equipment must be closed, including sport courts and other group sport areas, saunas, hot tubs, steam rooms, etc.
- Use of showers and locker rooms is permitted; however, patrons should be encouraged to arrive in their workout clothes.
- Food or beverage services are permitted subject to the Restaurants and Licensed Establishments Guidelines.
- Close drinking fountains. Water bottle filling stations are acceptable if appropriately and frequently sanitized.
- Consider developing online fitness participation, where practical, until physical distancing recommendations are suspended.
- Handwashing stations and/or approved hand sanitizers should be available and clients should be encouraged to use them upon entering and exiting. They should also be available throughout the facility. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer must be approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN).
- Essential shared facilities, such as telephones, computers, washrooms and laundry rooms, should receive increased cleaning and disinfection.
Cleaning and Disinfection
- The COVID-19 virus can survive for several days on different surfaces and objects. Frequent cleaning and disinfection is important to prevent spreading the disease.
- Workplaces should implement enhanced environmental cleaning.
- Commonly touched surfaces and shared equipment should be cleaned and disinfected after contact between individuals, even when not visibly soiled. This includes fitness equipment and machines, door handles, etc.
- Consider displaying a 'disinfected' sign on equipment so customers can be confident it's ready for use.
- Disinfectants for clients should be conveniently located. Patrons and employees should be required to wipe down the equipment before and after use. Discontinue the use of re-usable towels and cloths.
- Ensure the disinfectant used in the facility is adequate for the elimination of viruses.
- Workplaces should provide employees with resources such as tissues, no-touch trash receptacles, hand soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, disinfectants and disposable towels to promote a safe and hygienic work environment.
- Provide adequate bins for the safe disposal of paper towels that have been used for cleaning and personal use. The bins should be lined with plastic bags, which are tied and disposed of regularly according to local refuse storage and collection requirements.
- Cleaning and sanitizing information for public facilities and workplaces is available.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Personal Training is permitted, with two metres of physical distancing being observed whenever possible. If the trainer cannot maintain physical distancing, a non-medical mask (e.g. cloth or other materials) or surgical/procedure mask should be worn.
- It is recommended that older staff/seniors or those with a weakened immune system wear a procedure/surgical mask.
- Additional information on the appropriate use of PPE that can be used to mitigate transmission is available.
- All workers, especially those in contact with the public, should self-monitor for symptom, stay home if sick, and use the self-assessment tool available at saskatchewan.ca/COVID19.
- Infection Prevention and Control or Occupational Health and Safety staff in the workplace, where available, can assist in monitoring employee symptoms and provide advice in line with the provincial public health order.
- Workplaces are encouraged to have plans in place for increased worker absences due to illness or isolation.
- Workplaces should have a workplace illness policy. If policies do not exist or are not in line with COVID-19 recommendations, workplaces should ensure the following:
- Sick employees should stay home or are sent home from work if symptoms present.
- Sick employees use the Government of Saskatchewan's online self-assessment tool to help determine if the illness may be COVID-19. The tool provides people with next steps depending on their responses.
- If an employee has gone home sick, their work areas should be cleaned and disinfected.
- Employees are required to practise physical distancing at work. Avoid handshakes and any other physical contact with others. Remain two metres apart from others whenever possible.
- Employees who have a fever or feel unwell should be instructed to stay home.
- Employees should wash their hands upon arrival at work and frequently throughout the day. They should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when hands are not visibly dirty and handwashing isn't available.
- Only use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number).
- Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose and eyes.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue, then immediately dispose of the tissue and wash your hands. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
- If physical distancing cannot be maintained on the job (e.g. personal training and those assisting members with exercise), employees should wear a surgical/procedure mask.
For additional information, please call the Business Response Team at 1-844-800-8688 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.