Gyms, indoor pools, yoga and dance studios have all been given the greenlight to reopen across the state as new cases of coronavirus continue to plummet.
From June 13, all of the above, along with community centres, tattoo parlours and massage parlours will be allowed to open their doors for the first time since March, but caps on the number of people who can be in a venue at any given time will apply.
For indoor venues, the cap is 100 people, with classes limited to 10 participants per session.
Caps will also apply to facilities at venues such as saunas and pools.
Tattoo and massage parlours will also have to operate under a 10 client cap.
The government’s four square metre rule will also need to be reinforced at all reopened venues, as will strict cleaning, sanitising and hygiene measures.
NSW Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, made the announcement on June 2, acknowledging the demand for these facilities from the public.
“We all know that physical fitness is important and that’s why it’s timely that we’ve made this announcement,” Barilaro said.
Joining him in making the announcement was Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, who said all businesses will need to do things a little differently than they did pre-COVID-19 to keeping people safe.
It comes after mounting pressure to commit to a restart date and criticism from the fitness industry over its exclusion from the second wave of eased restrictions that came into effect on June 1.
There are dozens of gyms, studios, recreational facilities and businesses operating in the northern end of the LGA set to benefit from these changes.
Jessie Byrne is the Founder of JB Dance, a dance academy with headquarters at Tuggerah and Long Jetty.
Teaching everything from tap and ballet to contemporary and hip hop, JB Dance also holds classes at 15 community venues around the Coast, from Toukley to Umina and in Swansea.
When restrictions came into effect Jessie and her team were forced to migrate to online classes and while she and her staff were thankful for the illuminating experience, the prospect of restarting face to face classes has them doing a happy dance.
“We were fortunate to be able to continue with online classes as there were quite a few sports that didn’t have that luxury.
“The kids adjusted to them really well and enjoyed logging on to see their friends and teacher, but the novelty has definitely worn off,” Jessie said.
With June 15 the big day for JB Dance’s triumphant return, Jessie said the government’s failure to include businesses like hers in phase one of easing restrictions was now far from her mind.
“At the time it was disheartening not to be included in phase one, but we recognise that the health of the community and beating this horrible virus had to take priority, but that couldn’t stop a few of my teachers doing a happy dance when we heard we could reopen,” Jessie said.
Jessie has now begun the process of liaising with all class venues to ensure they are onboard for the return.
From there, her attention turns to performances and that’s where things get tricky as venues like theatres and concert halls remain closed.
Press conference, Jun 2
John Barilaro and Brad Hazzard, NSW Government
Press release, Jun 2
Interview, Jun 2
Jessie Byrne, JB Dance
Reporter: Dilon Luke