Fitness Facilities Guidance

To help break the chain of COVID-19 transmission in PEI, Updated COVID-19 Post Circuit Breaker Holiday Measures are in effect from January 6 to January 25th, 2021.

These CIRCUIT BREAKER measures impact businesses and gatherings and are different from the restrictions PEI residents were asked to observe during the New Normal phase.

The circuit breaker phase restrictions override all other existing sector specific public health guidance. Government of Prince Edward Island COVID-19 recommendations and guidances may be impacted by the CIRCUIT BREAKER measures.

This guideline applies to gyms, fitness studios, yoga studios, climbing walls, swimming pools, spas, and similar indoor recreational facilities.

Core operational measures

Required by all businesses, services, and organizations:

  • develop an operational plan detailing methods to mitigate transmission of disease.
  • take every reasonable step to ensure physical distancing (including employees and/or clients) of two metres (six feet) between each other.
  • take every reasonable step required to prevent employees who are required to self-isolate from entering workplaces.
  • develop and follow an exclusion policy that ensures symptomatic employees are immediately excluded from work activities.
  • 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.

Measures for recreational facilities:

  • Ensure at least one staff member is present when open for business to ensure proper cleaning and disinfection is taking place, and that patrons are maintaining physical distancing. For after-hours access or access without direct supervision, have additional protocols in place such as CCTV monitoring, signage indicating patrons' responsibilities re cleaning/disinfection and physical distancing, and limits on the number of people who can use the facility.
  • Limit the number of patrons permitted in the facility to ensure physical distancing, prevent large gatherings, and allow staff sufficient time to clean and disinfect equipment and other surfaces frequently.
  • For swimming pools, see also swimming pool guidance.
  • Consider implementing a booking system that allows a limited number of patrons to book and attend at a specified time-slot, and ensure there is sufficient time between time-slots to allow for cleaning and disinfection of equipment.
  • Increase physical distancing measures for activities that involve vigorous breathing and exhalation (e.g. certain yoga practices or group classes).
  • Group classes can be offered provided:
    • patrons are able to maintain physical distancing from one another at all times during a class,
    • gathering limits are adhered to, and
    • if there will be more than one gathering at one time at a facility (indoor or outdoor), guidance on multiple gatherings must be followed.
  • Operations must keep daily records of all patrons and staff. This can be done with a responsible person completing attendance on site or electronically with verification on site. Records including the names and phone number should be kept for one month to facilitate contact tracing in the event of an outbreak. Operations should have an internal process in place to quickly retrieve these records, should the records be needed, even on weekends. These records should be stored in a safe, secure location for one month after creation of the records and then disposed of using a secure destruction method to maintain the confidentiality of participants. For paper records, secure destruction means, at minimum, cross-cut shredding.
  • Where possible, increase the space between fitness equipment to achieve a minimum two metres (six feet) distancing between users. If this is not possible, ensure patrons maintain physical distancing when using fitness equipment.
  • Implement strict hand hygiene requirements for all patrons before and after each use of equipment that is not easily cleaned and disinfected (i.e. climbing wall holds, ropes, etc.).
  • Provide patrons with disinfectant wipes or disinfectant in a spray bottle and paper towels to disinfect equipment before and after use.  If towels or cloths are used, ensure they are laundered after each use.
  • Encourage patrons to bring their own yoga mats.  If yoga mat rental is permitted, ensure the mat is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before and after each use.
  • Modify personal coaching sessions as necessary to maintain physical distancing. If brief interaction within 6 ft may occur, the coach is strongly recommended to wear a non-medical mask.
  • Ensure there is sufficient time between group classes to allow for cleaning and disinfection of equipment.
  • Use floor markings at reception desks to indicate where customers should stand to maintain physical distancing.
  • If appropriate to the space, use floor markings to promote one-way flow through the facility and where lines form to ensure two metre (six feet) physical separation.
  • Remove features that encourage customers to congregate or linger in place, including benches, sofas, and seating areas.
  • Ensure employees and customers have easy access to hand sanitizer with at least 60% - 80% alcohol and/or hand-washing stations and no-touch disposal receptacles.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces at least twice a day or more, including doorknobs, light switches, and railings.
  • Encourage patrons to arrive at the facility in workout clothes and to avoid using locker rooms, dressing rooms, and showers on site.
  • If restrooms and/or showers are available, limit the number of users at a given time, maintain handwashing supplies, increase cleaning and disinfecting frequency, and install no-touch garbage bins.
  • If locker rooms, change rooms, and dressing rooms, are used, identify a capacity limit based on physical distancing, limit numbers of users at a given time to the capacity, place markers to support physical distancing within the rooms, and ensure enhanced cleaning and disinfection is in place. For groups coming together consistently, such as sports teams, physical distancing is to be maintained in dressing rooms where at all possible. If it cannot be maintained, the time in dressing rooms should be minimized, non medical masks are strongly recommended, and activities such as spitting, shouting and cheering should not occur.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect point-of-sale devices and touch screens at reception desks.
  • Encourage customers to use cashless payment when possible.
  • Close customer water fountains, and advise patrons to bring their own filled water bottles. Touchless water dispensers may be used with frequent cleaning and disinfection.
  • Do not provide shared chalk.
  • Close saunas. Steam rooms where physical distancing can be maintained and the surfaces are non-porous and easily cleaned and disinfected, may open.
  • Consider closing hot tubs if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Consider supporting vulnerable customers by providing access to dedicated facility hours.
  • Print and post signage at all entries and throughout the facility outlining policies and procedures such as:
    • Physical distancing expectations,
    • Hand hygiene,
    • Respiratory etiquette (coughing and sneezing), and
    • Cleaning and disinfection practices and expectations.
  • Print and post signage at entries into the facility to notify patrons NOT to enter if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Non-medical masks are recommended for employees if the potential for brief interactions within six feet exists. Non-medical masks and gloves are not a replacement for any of the above measures.
Published date: 
December 7, 2020
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca