A coalition of Quebec fitness clubs, with the support of Fitness Industry Canada, is lobbying the provincial government to demonstrate that the industry can continue to operate with the strict protocols and standards required to maintain a safe environment within their facilities during COVID-19.
“The health and safety of our staff and members remain the primary consideration,” says Nathalie Lacombe, project manager for the initiative.
Across Canada, many provinces are developing a 3-phase easing of restrictions, with health and fitness facilities generally assigned to the final phase of reopening, along with night clubs, tattoo parlours and concerts.
“Our facilities offer sanitized and supervised environments,” says Lacombe. “We know the government is concerned with adding a physical and mental health crisis to the current crisis created by the virus, we are thankfully in talks with them to demonstrate how we can provide much needed support for the Quebec population. Our purpose is not only to solidify trust with the public health ministry, but also the general population thanks to the incredible collaborative efforts of our 200+ coalition members. “
In addition to developing a PR campaign to re-assure fitness consumers, the coalition will present four ‘Asks’ to the province:
- Request to open facilities in early June. This will allow time for facilities to implement and enhance necessary social distancing protocols and procedures, such as taping off of boundaries, equipment spacing, provision of sanitizing products and signage.
- Continuation of government wage and rent support, including a 75% direct subsidy to cover wages and rent for the initial six months after opening, followed by a 50% subsidy for an additional six months.
- Subsidies for additional costs due to COVID-19, which may include cleaning supplies, plexiglass barriers, signage and member management/communications.
- The implementation of an adult fitness tax credit, to encourage Canadians to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle and decrease the overall health costs associated with obesity and inactivity.
Fitness Industry Canada is currently co-ordinating similar initiatives in other provinces across Canada.
For more information or to support the Quebec coalition of fitness clubs, contact Nathalie Lacombe, Project Manager, Nathalie@nathalielacombe.com.
For more information or to support other provincial efforts currently underway, contact Trisha Sarker, Executive Director, Fitness Industry Council of Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org