Information current

August 4, 2020

We're in Phase 3 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Watch the latest video update.

For non-medical questions, email covid19info@gov.yk.ca or phone 1-877-374-0425.

For medical questions or if you feel ill, phone 811, or launch the COVID-19 self-assessment tool.

Fitness studio and gym guidelines: COVID-19

Please ensure that you have read and incorporated the safe 6 steps to staying safe into your planning as recommended by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

The safe 6 steps

  • Maintain physical distancing – keep 2 metres (6 feet) away from anyone who’s not a member of your bubble.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick.
  • Don’t gather in groups of more than 10 people indoors or 50 outdoors, and remember to keep 2 metres (6 feet) apart.
  • Limit travel to rural communities, and be respectful when you’re there.
  • Self-isolate if you’ve just returned to Yukon from anywhere other than British Columbia, Nunavut and Northwest Territories, or if you’ve been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Operational plans

Any fitness studio that employs staff must complete an operational plan. Fitness studios that operate without staff should complete an operational plan and make all requirements known to all users so they're aware of what needs to be done to maintain a safe environment.

Definition of fitness studios and gyms                                   

Fitness studios and gyms are considered public indoor facilities designed for shared fitness purposes. These types of settings could include spaces designed for organized fitness classes including yoga, Pilates, Zumba, gymnastics studios and others, as well as weightlifting rooms. This guidance also applies to fitness studios or weightlifting areas located within a larger recreation centre.

This guidance does not apply to recreation centres with pools, arenas, sport fields or courts and larger spaces for spectating and gathering. Separate guidance documents exist for public recreation centres and for sport and recreation activities.

General public health measures
  • Take all reasonable steps to ensure physical distancing of 2 metres (6 feet) between users and/or employees. This may include limiting occupancy or class sizes to maintain proper spacing.
  • Place a poster at the entrance asking staff and users to do a self-assessment at check-in to ensure people are not entering who are experiencing cough, fever, shortness of breath or who feel unwell, have been travelling outside Yukon in the last 14 days or been in contact with someone in the last 14 days who is infected with COVID-19.
  • Ensure enhanced cleaning and disinfection of shared areas and surfaces.
  • Ensure hand-washing stations or hand sanitizing products are available and accessible to all employees and users. Hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol content is highly recommended at entrances, exits, and throughout the facility.
Physical distancing

Operators must promote physical distancing whenever possible and discourage congregating. Users should be encouraged to conduct their workouts and exit the facility without unnecessary delays.

Limit number of patrons

The number of patrons allowed into the facility at 1 time should be limited to:

  • ensure there is sufficient space to allow patrons to remain 2 metres (6 feet) apart, which is equivalent to 5 square metres (54 square feet) per person;
  • prevent congregating; and
  • allow staff time to clean and disinfect equipment and other surfaces frequently.

Booking system

Consider using a booking system that allows a limited number of patrons to book and attend a specified time slot. Ensure there is sufficient time between time slots for cleaning and disinfection of the facility and equipment, as well as to reduce crowding at the check‑in counter and other high traffic areas.

Control the flow of people

  • Where applicable place markers every 2 metres (6 feet) to provide users with visible queues that encourage physical distancing.
  • Consider directing traffic within the facility with 1-way flow, where possible, using floor markers or stickers.
  • Minimize congestion in the facility by managing flow or users, including the entrance.
  • Discourage training activities that necessitate close contact with other people such as needing spotters during weight training or sparring in martial arts studios.
Equipment
  • Equipment should be spaced at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart or barriers should be erected between equipment. If removal of equipment or erection of barriers is not possible, equipment closer than 2 metres (6 feet) apart should be closed to use.
  • Encourage customers to bring their own personal equipment where possible, such as yoga mats, to limit sharing of equipment.
  • Provide users with disinfectant wipes or disinfectant in a spray bottle with paper towels for disinfecting equipment and surfaces. See Health Canada’s guidelines on hard-surface disinfectants for use against coronavirus.
  • Establish and post clear policies requiring users to wipe down equipment before and after every use. Provide adequate supplies and garbage bins for disposing used materials.
  • Fitness studios and gyms must have at least 1 staff member present while the centre is open. This is to ensure that proper physical distancing and disinfecting is observed.
  • Instruct users that they must allow equipment surfaces to air dry naturally before using.
  • Include all equipment in the operational plan. Gym equipment in regular use should be wiped down every hour by staff and this should be documented. This is on top of users disinfecting between use.
Cleaning and disinfecting
  • Schedule time between classes to allow for appropriate cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Put additional janitorial support in place for cleaning of shower facilities and bathrooms, etc. These should be cleaned after periods of heavy use, for example after morning and evening rushes.
  • Staff should be well-educated on how to use cleaning agents and disinfectants, required contact times, safety practices and required use of personal protective equipment.
  • Verify that the disinfectants used are effective against SARS-CoV-2 (virus that causes COVID-19).  See Health Canada’s guidelines on hard-surface disinfectants for use against coronavirus.
  • Use gloves when conducting environmental cleaning and disinfecting. If disposable gloves are not available, the next best option is reusable gloves reserved for that purpose. Reusable gloves must be cleaned and disinfected after each use. No matter what type of glove is used, staff should wash their hands before and after using gloves.
  • Commonly touched surfaces and shared equipment should be cleaned and disinfected every hour by staff, even when not visibly soiled. This includes door handles, light switches, floors, etc.
  • Document and display the cleaning schedule and the last time cleaning took place for all spaces that require disinfecting.
  • Non-touch water bottle filling stations are ideal and preferred over water fountains. If water fountains are used, consider having users fill water bottles rather than having them drink directly from the mouthpiece. They should avoid touching the mouth of the water bottle to the fountain mouthpiece. Fountains and filling stations should be appropriately and frequently sanitized.
  • Washrooms are required to have hand washing sinks with cold and hot running water, paper towels and liquid hand soap in dispensers.
  • Ensure employees and customers have easy access to hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and/or hand-washing stations and no-touch disposal receptacles. Users and employees should be using them upon entering and exiting.
Facility
  • Consider supporting customers at higher risk of complication due to COVID-19, for example older adults, by providing access to dedicated facility hours.
  • Consider asking patrons to sign-in on arrival with name and phone number and/or email to facilitate contact tracing if necessary, and keep attendance records for a minimum of 1 month. If the facility is part of a larger recreation centre, users only need to register at the main entrance.
  • Place markings to direct the flow of people through the facility.
  • Encourage users to arrive in workout clothes and not use change rooms
  • Limit the number of users in locker rooms and showers to ensure proper physical distancing and increase cleaning and disinfection.
  • Saunas and steam rooms must remain closed.
  • Do not offer food services.
  • Consider suspending linen and towel services at this time. If this service is still offered:
    • clearly mark laundry bins for dirty linens;
    • staff handling dirty linen bins should wear gloves and not handle dirty linens;
    • wash and dry linens on hot settings (60 to 90C or 140 to 194F);
    • remove gloves and wash hands after doing laundry;
    • wash hands prior to folding clean laundry; and
    • disinfect buttons, lids, doors on machines after each use.
  • Where possible use contactless forms of payment and check-in.
  • Signage should be on display throughout the facility reinforcing key messages of physical distancing, handwashing, self-isolation, wiping equipment and hygiene protocols.
  • Increase ventilation if possible.
  • Consider removing or blocking off areas that encourage people to congregate such as couches and chairs.
Fitness classes
  • Groups activities are only permitted if 2 metre (6 feet) physical distance can be maintained (5 square metres or 54 square feet per person) with no more than 10 people indoors and 50 people outdoors per class.
  • Instructors should maintain a minimum 2 metres (6 feet) distance from participants. Instructors limit their movement around the room and should not touch participants.
  • Consider placing floor markings to help users maintain physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet).
  • Increase ventilation if possible.
  • Consider developing online or outdoor fitness participation, where practical, until physical distancing recommendations are suspended.
  • High-powered fans may result in greater dispersion of droplets. Consider further reducing class sizes to maintain room temperature at manageable levels without the use of high-powered fans.
  • If group classes are offered, they should be scheduled to allow staff enough time to disinfect equipment and surfaces between classes.
  • Equipment should not be shared or used simultaneously (for example, working in sets).
  • Postpone or cancel events that encourage people to congregate.
  • Classes that involve physical contact must be cancelled or modified to ensure physical distancing is possible.
  • For personal training, consider virtual training where possible. Ensure trainers and customers refrain from physical contact and adhere to the 2 metre (6 feet) physical distancing requirement from each other during the session.
  • Coaching sessions should be conducted in a manner that avoids touching users. Consider using verbal cues while coaching or using technology to share instructional material and practice plans.

  • Take all reasonable steps to ensure physical distancing of 2 metres (6 feet) between users and/or employees. This may include limiting occupancy or class sizes to maintain proper spacing.
  • Place a poster at the entrance asking staff and users to do a self-assessment at check-in to ensure people are not entering who are experiencing cough, fever, shortness of breath or who feel unwell, have been travelling outside Yukon in the last 14 days or been in contact with someone in the last 14 days who is infected with COVID-19.
  • Ensure enhanced cleaning and disinfection of shared areas and surfaces.
  • Ensure hand-washing stations or hand sanitizing products are available and accessible to all employees and users. Hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol content is highly recommended at entrances, exits, and throughout the facility.

Operators must promote physical distancing whenever possible and discourage congregating. Users should be encouraged to conduct their workouts and exit the facility without unnecessary delays.

Limit number of patrons

The number of patrons allowed into the facility at 1 time should be limited to:

  • ensure there is sufficient space to allow patrons to remain 2 metres (6 feet) apart, which is equivalent to 5 square metres (54 square feet) per person;
  • prevent congregating; and
  • allow staff time to clean and disinfect equipment and other surfaces frequently.

Booking system

Consider using a booking system that allows a limited number of patrons to book and attend a specified time slot. Ensure there is sufficient time between time slots for cleaning and disinfection of the facility and equipment, as well as to reduce crowding at the check‑in counter and other high traffic areas.

Control the flow of people

  • Where applicable place markers every 2 metres (6 feet) to provide users with visible queues that encourage physical distancing.
  • Consider directing traffic within the facility with 1-way flow, where possible, using floor markers or stickers.
  • Minimize congestion in the facility by managing flow or users, including the entrance.
  • Discourage training activities that necessitate close contact with other people such as needing spotters during weight training or sparring in martial arts studios.

  • Equipment should be spaced at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart or barriers should be erected between equipment. If removal of equipment or erection of barriers is not possible, equipment closer than 2 metres (6 feet) apart should be closed to use.
  • Encourage customers to bring their own personal equipment where possible, such as yoga mats, to limit sharing of equipment.
  • Provide users with disinfectant wipes or disinfectant in a spray bottle with paper towels for disinfecting equipment and surfaces. See Health Canada’s guidelines on hard-surface disinfectants for use against coronavirus.
  • Establish and post clear policies requiring users to wipe down equipment before and after every use. Provide adequate supplies and garbage bins for disposing used materials.
  • Fitness studios and gyms must have at least 1 staff member present while the centre is open. This is to ensure that proper physical distancing and disinfecting is observed.
  • Instruct users that they must allow equipment surfaces to air dry naturally before using.
  • Include all equipment in the operational plan. Gym equipment in regular use should be wiped down every hour by staff and this should be documented. This is on top of users disinfecting between use.

  • Schedule time between classes to allow for appropriate cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Put additional janitorial support in place for cleaning of shower facilities and bathrooms, etc. These should be cleaned after periods of heavy use, for example after morning and evening rushes.
  • Staff should be well-educated on how to use cleaning agents and disinfectants, required contact times, safety practices and required use of personal protective equipment.
  • Verify that the disinfectants used are effective against SARS-CoV-2 (virus that causes COVID-19).  See Health Canada’s guidelines on hard-surface disinfectants for use against coronavirus.
  • Use gloves when conducting environmental cleaning and disinfecting. If disposable gloves are not available, the next best option is reusable gloves reserved for that purpose. Reusable gloves must be cleaned and disinfected after each use. No matter what type of glove is used, staff should wash their hands before and after using gloves.
  • Commonly touched surfaces and shared equipment should be cleaned and disinfected every hour by staff, even when not visibly soiled. This includes door handles, light switches, floors, etc.
  • Document and display the cleaning schedule and the last time cleaning took place for all spaces that require disinfecting.
  • Non-touch water bottle filling stations are ideal and preferred over water fountains. If water fountains are used, consider having users fill water bottles rather than having them drink directly from the mouthpiece. They should avoid touching the mouth of the water bottle to the fountain mouthpiece. Fountains and filling stations should be appropriately and frequently sanitized.
  • Washrooms are required to have hand washing sinks with cold and hot running water, paper towels and liquid hand soap in dispensers.
  • Ensure employees and customers have easy access to hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and/or hand-washing stations and no-touch disposal receptacles. Users and employees should be using them upon entering and exiting.

  • Consider supporting customers at higher risk of complication due to COVID-19, for example older adults, by providing access to dedicated facility hours.
  • Consider asking patrons to sign-in on arrival with name and phone number and/or email to facilitate contact tracing if necessary, and keep attendance records for a minimum of 1 month. If the facility is part of a larger recreation centre, users only need to register at the main entrance.
  • Place markings to direct the flow of people through the facility.
  • Encourage users to arrive in workout clothes and not use change rooms
  • Limit the number of users in locker rooms and showers to ensure proper physical distancing and increase cleaning and disinfection.
  • Saunas and steam rooms must remain closed.
  • Do not offer food services.
  • Consider suspending linen and towel services at this time. If this service is still offered:
    • clearly mark laundry bins for dirty linens;
    • staff handling dirty linen bins should wear gloves and not handle dirty linens;
    • wash and dry linens on hot settings (60 to 90C or 140 to 194F);
    • remove gloves and wash hands after doing laundry;
    • wash hands prior to folding clean laundry; and
    • disinfect buttons, lids, doors on machines after each use.
  • Where possible use contactless forms of payment and check-in.
  • Signage should be on display throughout the facility reinforcing key messages of physical distancing, handwashing, self-isolation, wiping equipment and hygiene protocols.
  • Increase ventilation if possible.
  • Consider removing or blocking off areas that encourage people to congregate such as couches and chairs.

  • Groups activities are only permitted if 2 metre (6 feet) physical distance can be maintained (5 square metres or 54 square feet per person) with no more than 10 people indoors and 50 people outdoors per class.
  • Instructors should maintain a minimum 2 metres (6 feet) distance from participants. Instructors limit their movement around the room and should not touch participants.
  • Consider placing floor markings to help users maintain physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet).
  • Increase ventilation if possible.
  • Consider developing online or outdoor fitness participation, where practical, until physical distancing recommendations are suspended.
  • High-powered fans may result in greater dispersion of droplets. Consider further reducing class sizes to maintain room temperature at manageable levels without the use of high-powered fans.
  • If group classes are offered, they should be scheduled to allow staff enough time to disinfect equipment and surfaces between classes.
  • Equipment should not be shared or used simultaneously (for example, working in sets).
  • Postpone or cancel events that encourage people to congregate.
  • Classes that involve physical contact must be cancelled or modified to ensure physical distancing is possible.
  • For personal training, consider virtual training where possible. Ensure trainers and customers refrain from physical contact and adhere to the 2 metre (6 feet) physical distancing requirement from each other during the session.
  • Coaching sessions should be conducted in a manner that avoids touching users. Consider using verbal cues while coaching or using technology to share instructional material and practice plans.