Australian Affiliates Given 15 Hours Notice To Close

Mar 24, 2020 by

Just before 9pm on Sunday March 22 (AEST), Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison placed the entire country on “stage one” lockdown. 

With just 15 hours notice: All “non-essential” services like bars, pubs, clubs, churches AND gyms would have to close indefinitely by 12pm Monday. 

Australians have been told the new “stage one” restrictions could stay in place for up to six months. 

The writing was on the wall: Just days earlier, gyms were among the “public places” mandated to ensure each member had a 4 x 4-meter square radius as part of the country’s social distancing measures. 

But both the PM and State Premiers were concerned Australians just weren’t taking the COVID-19 precautions seriously:

  • “So, unfortunately, because guidelines can’t be followed, then for public health reasons we now need to take further action which shuts those gatherings down,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. 

There’ll be no second chances for Australian affiliates: Both state and federal governments in Australia have enacted emergency powers that give them the right to fine and even jail people who breach lockdown orders.

  • The PM said further restrictions would be considered if social distancing measures were not adhered to. 
  • On Tuesday (AEST) an update was given that one-on-one training sessions – of up to 10 people –  would suffice. Although social distancing rules still apply. 

As of Monday, it’s a similar situation for affiliates across the ditch in New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern issued a 48-hour notice for a month-long lockdown, in a bid to stop the community spread of coronavirus.  Schools, businesses and community services are now closed:

  • PM Arden said: “The worst-case scenario is simply intolerable, it would represent the greatest loss of New Zealanders’ lives in our history and I will not take that chance”.

In light of the uncertain and changing situation Down Under CrossFit Championship has postponed registrations. 

  • “We do not know how long we will be closed for and we can’t predict the decisions that may impact the event … We do know that when we do all meet eventually in Wollongong it will be a celebration to remember,” event directors said on Instagram. 
  • The list of qualified teams will still be advised on April the 1st, however postpone the registration process will be postponed. 

Gyms down under are following the lead of the northern hemisphere, loaning out equipment and transitioning to an online format for programming and virtual classes. 

  • Former Games athlete Dean Linder-Leighton owns an Australian affiliate and said: “We will be changing our programming delivery to at-home workouts, as most people have no equipment, these workouts will be mainly bodyweight and easily accessible, however, we will be including a scaled-up version for those who have a dumbbell, or kettlebell.” DLL also plans to livestream the workout “as a class style scenario” each day. 
  • Angie Janc from BodyFit 2283 has already begun online classes: “We are using Zoom to keep classes in contact with each other and coaches involved. Hoping this will keep our members accountable,” she said. 
  • Speaking of keeping members accountable, Gregg Wilson at CrossFit Dux loaned all his equipment out to members and has started a vlog-style daily WOD. You can watch the latest video here. 
  • Miranda Smart from Two Wolf CrossFit said: “We are also double checking that small groups are still allowed outside and may organize to meet up at beaches or parks or on private land. Our main concern is maintaining memberships so that we can continue to cover costs that will still occur such as rent, affiliate fees and loan repayments.”

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