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Fitness Centers and Gymnasium

Requirements regarding COVID-19 vaccination for service providers:

Every worker will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as shown in Twakkalna application (immune by first dose- immune – immune by recovery) to be able to attend their workplaces. If the company has non-immune worker, a PCR test result showing non-infection of coronavirus is required to be submitted every seven days at the expense of the establishment where they are working.

Target groups:

  • All workers.

Environment, Prevention, Social Distancing

General Guidelines

  • Employees must wear fabric masks inside the gymnasium and fitness centers.
  • Prohibit the use of fingerprint attendance system, alternative methods to be used.
  • Provide employees with safety and protection tools and equipment, including fabric masks that must be provided at hall entrance halls and fitness centers if possible.
  • Prohibit participants who are not wearing masks from entering, or provide them with masks at the entrance if possible.
  • Prevent the entry of children who are under fifteen years of age.
  • It is preferable to encourage people with chronic diseases and the elderly not to attend.
  • Gloves are not recommended as an alternative to washing and disinfecting hands after using the devices, nor are they required to be provided for participants at the entrances. Participants should be made aware of how insignificant they are.
  • Contact with participants should be minimized as much as possible when dealing with them, and maintain social distancing during payment or check-in processes.
  • Employees must wash their hands for no less than 40 seconds using soap and water, or disinfect them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for no less than 20 seconds if soap and water are not available.
  • Employees must follow the instructions regarding time, type, and manner of wearing safety and personal protection equipment such as masks and gloves, and the best way to take them off.
  • Placed social distancing stickers and hand sanitizers beside the water coolers, coffee machines, and food refrigerators, using the single-use cups.
  • It is preferable to close locker rooms and emphasize to participants to have their sportswear on prior to coming.
  • It is preferable to close prayer areas if the area is small in relation to the number of participants or comply with health requirements according to the protocols for mosques issued by the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
  • Distribute hand sanitizers containing 80-60% of alcohol in accordance with the requirements of the Food and Drug General Authority, and place them at visible places such as main entrances, toilets entrances, and gathering areas.
  • Ensure hand soap is available in toilets.
  • Remove dirt with soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Ensure toilets are disinfected every two hours with approved disinfectants, or assign an employee to clean and disinfect on a regular basis.
  • Regularly disinfect surfaces every two hours, and disinfect sport equipment after use by athletes with disinfectants approved by the SFDA following instructions shown on the packages, with emphasize on frequently touched places, such as door handles, dining tables, seat cushions, elevator buttons, etc.
  • Keep a schedule of disinfection periods for surfaces and toilets.
  • Ensure sufficient time between shifts to allow cleaning and disinfection of gymnasiums, fitness centers, and equipment, and minimize congestion.
  • Ensure good air ventilation in all places, especially in places where there might be a lot of gathering. It is preferable to reduce the temperature in halls and training rooms in particular.
  • Regularly change or clean the air filters of ventilation devices, especially air conditioners.
  • Fitness facilities and gymnasiums should not provide athletes with towels ensuring that athletes bring their own.
  • Place floor signs or stickers indicating where to stand in waiting areas such as payment counters or reception areas, toilets, etc. to help with the process of social distancing at least one and a half meters.
  • Dispose of the tools that may be shared by employees, such as pens, papers, water coolers, tea and coffee makers, and others.
  • State the number of people who can use the elevator at once to ensure social distancing (one and a half to two meters), or specify two people for each elevator.
  • Use signs to ensure a distance of at least two meters between individuals in escalators or regular stairs.
  • It is preferable to take showers in the gymnasium after exercises, before going back home.
  • Reducing the number of employees working in reception or in administration so that work can be done at home. All events and meetings amongst employees must be canceled and means of virtual communication should be used.
  • Provide no-touch waste bins. The waste must be disposed of regularly.
  • Disable participant screens that work with touching.
  • Between every two devices, there must be a distance of more than one and a half to two meters. Disable any device that cannot be moved ensuring the application of social distancing.

Gyms and Fitness Center

  • Daily reservation system must be established to limit the number of participants who can book and attend for specified periods, to ensure there is no crowding inside the facility.
  • Entering must be limited to immunized people (immune, immune by first dose, and immune by recovery) according to the status update in Twakkalna application for those who have exceeded the age allowed to receive the vaccine. Exceptions are made to groups that are not obligated to take the vaccine (according to the age group or health status) as issued by the Ministry of Health or the Public Health Authority.
  • Eliminate stretching mats, exercise balls, and training gloves. Participants must bring their own personal sports equipment.
  • Prevent participants from using equipment in alternation (rounds).
  • Prohibit helping each other in training (such as helping with weight-bearing), and prevent athletes from gathering whilst weightlifting.
  • The capacity of gyms and fitness centers must be reduced to ensure social distancing between participants for a distance of one and a half to two meters, and prohibit event participants from entering after reaching the capacity by allocating an area of 90 square meters for every 10 people (9 square meters per person). Fitness centers and gymnasium are in violation if there are more people than the permissible capacity.
  • Fitness centers and gymnasiums must organize participants ensuring no crowding. Assign a supervisor for every 90 square meters in charge of raising participant’s awareness.
  • Distance between equipment must be at least one and a half meters to ensure maintenance of social distancing.
  • Only one person is allowed to use a sauna, steam, or jacuzzi bath at a time. The facility must be disinfected after each use before being used by another person.
  • Usage of the swimming pool is allowed ensuring social distancing is maintained by a supervisor inside the swimming pool.
  • Disinfect sports equipment immediately after each use, and assign a trained employee for disinfection.
  • Wipes must be provided and distributed in different places in the facility to regularly disinfect equipment by participants too. A sign must be placed on every piece of equipment instructing disinfection before and after training.
  • Participants should use clean napkins or towels when sitting on equipment.
  • Emphasize the application of preventive instructions and guidelines within the facility (number of people in the training hall, distance between sports equipment, and distance between persons).
  • Emphasize to participants not to use the same device at the same time.
  • The time of group classes should be reduced by half to limit contact among members.
  • The length of stay of each individual in the facility should not exceed an hour and a half per day.
  • Height and weight measuring devices should be removed to reduce contact among participants.
  • Allow the practice of sports activities for those who are under the age of 15, if the sports facility or the competition is exclusive for this age group (such as the Junior League, or the Junior Martial Games Clubs). Those under the age of 7 must be prevented from entering the fitness facility.

Sports Stadium

  • No crowds are allowed to attend.
  • The number of players must be reduced to the lowest possible.
  • Clothes and sports equipment that is shared amongst players must be prohibited such as goalkeeper gloves, training clothes, shoes. Ensure that participants bring their own clothes.
  • The referees’ tools such as the flag, whistle, cards, etc. must be disinfected after each use, and forbidden from being shared as much as possible
  • Regularly disinfect all surfaces that can be disinfected such as a non-grass playground, goalposts, basketball nets, used balls, tennis rackets in between games halves and after each match
  • It is preferred to require players to use their own sports equipment such as tennis and squash rackets, golf clubs, and others if possible.
  • Organize match times so that every match does not exceed one hour. No player is allowed in without a reservation.
  • Handshakes and hugs between players must be prohibited when celebrating scoring goals.
  • Gatherings after matches must be prohibited and everyone must exit immediately.
  • Gathering at car parks or at the entrances must be prohibited.

Reporting and Monitoring Symptoms

  • With the continuous screening and isolation procedures that occur according to the approved protocols, (Tawakkalna) application is used to ensure the employee’s health status concerning COVID-19 disease. If the employee’s status is positive or in contact with a positive case, all this will appear at the application, will not be allowed to enter the workplace.
  • The employee can return to work after he completely recovers and checking that by updating his status in Tawakkalna application.
  • An inspection point must be set up at every entrance to take temperature with a device approved by the Food and Drug General Authority, and questioning about respiratory symptoms (coughing or shortness of breath).
  • Train administrators at the inspection point on the method of examination and the use of temperature measuring devices.
  • All employees’ temperature must be measured before the start of the shift and written in a special record in addition to contact details.
  • Prohibit anyone who appears to have flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat) to work or enter the facility until the symptoms have passed, according to the attending physician’s report.
  • Prohibit players or clients who have a high temperature or respiratory symptoms from entering.
  • If there is a housing unit for workers, prepare an isolation room in the residential area designated for suspected cases to be isolated, until the authorities contact them (Please review the guideline and protocols for employees to combat Covid-19).
  • Report cases that have a high temperature or respiratory symptoms and are suspected of being infected with Covid-19, specify the details and contact number for the case, and call 937 immediately to know the requirements to transfer the case to the hospital
  • In the event of a confirmed infection among employees, the protocols approved by the PHA and the MOH must be applied.
  • It is necessary to cooperate with the MOH in the process of monitoring cases that were in contact with a confirmed case, in order to apply the epidemiological investigation and quarantine procedures followed by the public health team.

Awareness and Communication

  • Educate trainers, participants, and employees about the virus’s symptoms, means of transmission, and its severity. Encourage them to refrain from attending in the event of any respiratory symptoms (coughing or shortness of breath) or high temperature, and contact the Ministry of Health.
  • Follow the etiquette of sneezing and coughing (use of paper tissue and dispose of it immediately, use the elbow by bending the arm).
  • Raise awareness messages regarding the virus and prevention methods through means of communication such as text messages. Rely on official sources of information such as the MOH and the PHA.
  • Display educational posters inside fitness facilities that illustrate the correct way to wash hands with soap and water and disinfecting them with alcohol gel, as well as the importance of wearing protective gear.
  • Participation of trainers and employees is necessary in spreading awareness. Emphasize to participants to wear protective gear in a correct manner, and remind them to maintain social distancing. Prevent people who are not following the instructions from pursuing training.
  • Security guards or supervisors must be present to prevent gatherings or the entry of unauthorized personals.
  • Place a panel that includes a statement of violations and methods of their reporting.
Appendix (1): Groups at higher risk of infection