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Gyms remain closed under level 3 lockdown.

While people can now exercise outdoors between 6am and 6pm, they are still barred from doing so in organised groups.

As it currently stands, draft input suggests that recreational facilities, health centres and gyms should reopen at Level 1 of lockdown only.

But this may be subject to change.

In the meantime, Virgin Active SA is in the process of implementing changes in preparation for when gyms can reopen.

Virgin Active SA's commercial director Tsholo Kubheka says members will have to book their sessions ahead of time using the Virgin Active app.

Virgin Active SA will implement contactless access. On arrival, members will scan their unique QR code to gain entry to the gym.

Technology-driven access control will play an important part in potential contact tracing and ensuring that gyms are overcrowded, Kubheka explains.

  • members will have to use an online booking process through the Virgin Active app

  • only a limited number of members will be allowed at a time

  • gyms will use air filtration systems

  • there will be hospital-grade protocols for sanitising and disinfecting

  • no gym towels will be allowed - they will be replaced with paper towels

  • there will be hand sanitiser stations throughout the club

  • there will be an increased number of group classes with fewer members in each class

  • the saunas and steam rooms will remain closed

  • the chlorinated pools will reopen

  • there will be weight-cleaning drop-off zones for people lifting weights

  • every second treadmill and bike will be disabled for social distancing

  • there will be floor markings throughout the gym, including change rooms

Kubheka says Virgin Active is committed to adding value to the customer while being guided by the government's regulations.

A lot of companies are doing it because the government says they must, you've got to do this because it's the right thing to do.

Tsholo Kubheka, Commercial Director - Virgin Active SA

We've submitted some documents to the government and we continue to liaise with them.

Tsholo Kubheka, Commercial Director - Virgin Active SA

We will be instituting some of these changes to support us.

Tsholo Kubheka, Commercial Director - Virgin Active SA

We are the authority of health and wellness in South Africa.

Tsholo Kubheka, Commercial Director - Virgin Active SA

We stopped over just over 700,000 members' debit orders because it was the right thing to do. We had to keep the customer first.

Tsholo Kubheka, Commercial Director - Virgin Active SA

Listen to the discussion on Today with Kieno Kammies:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 12 changes Virgin Active SA will implement when its club doors open again

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