COVID Policy Updates
Happy New Year to everyone – please find below updates to our policies and processes as it relates to COVID restrictions.
After the announcement on Saturday January 1 by the Premier of NSW, our maximum class size will be 30 people. This will only be affecting the Group Fitness Studio as our other rooms remain under 30 people and under the 1-4person per sqm threshold set by the government. We will continue to monitor classes frequently as we have done for the last 9 months.
The mask mandate does not currently apply to fitness and aquatic facilities. Our staff and members are welcome to wear masks if they feel more comfortable doing so, otherwise we continue to ask all members to be conscious of providing space to your fellow members to make everyone feel comfortable and safe.
We do ask people who wear masks while working out to be wary of their reduced limitations and reduce either the duration or the intensity of our workout.
Any member wishing to wear a mask must supply their own.
As many members would experience, at many venues they attend they are required to QR scan in. Again gyms are not presently mandated to use the NSW Govt QR code, however we do have our own code. At present we capture all visitors by scanning t the turnstiles, scanning at the Fitness Passport reception and if neither of these apply, they QR scan in.
It may become a requirement for people to QR scan in in the future. We are preparing for that and would ask that as members, to avoid hold ups, please take the time to download the app if you haven’t done so already.
Spa and Steam Use
A reminder that use of the Spa and Steam facilities requires booking in which can be done online or at reception. If you do not book,, you will be asked to leave by staff. We ask all members to please cooperate as refusal to comply with these rules can result in suspension of membership.
With everyone in the community asked to be more cautious and vigilant, we ask our members to do the same when at CHFAC. please ensure you bring a towel (and use it), please wipe down your equipment before and after use and please ensure you are keeping a safe distance between you and others (with never more than 2 people on any piece of equipment). By taking these steps we can ensure we stay open for you through the Christmas Period.
Merry Christmas and stay safe.
GROUP FITNESS – NOVEMBER UPDATE!
Group Fitness has always been an important part of our operation at Castle Hill Fitness and Aquatic Centre. We know how much many of you enjoy your group fitness classes and the ability to exercise with friends. Many of our Group Fitness participants are our loyal, longest standing members of our club and the management team and instructors are always listening and trying to deliver the classes and the programs all our members ask for.
Coming out of the forced closure due to the COVID pandemic in mid-June, has been a significant challenge for all the staff as we have faced a situation we have never encountered and there was no text book for how to re-open. We decided to take a cautious approach that focused on safety and provided flexibility to our members. We have opted to allow members to suspend their membership free of charge if they were not comfortable returning. Meanwhile for those who wanted to come back, we had no way of knowing how many members would come back and when. While we wanted to facilitate everyone, we also didn’t want to over commit and then have to remove services or programs if restrictions were tightened.
When it comes to Group Fitness we had held off Functional classes until our systems and process were in place and numbers were under control. We have gradually added classes across the board updating the Fitness timetable fortnightly instead of monthly in order to adapt. Even though we currently have fewer active members, with the restricted numbers for classes, the demand is still high.
We also introduced an online booking system. Why? Because we didn’t want to create situations where we would have 10 or 12 people coming down to the centre only to be disappointed if the class was already full. There were some challenges with the software when it was launched and we subsequently launched an online waitlist which we spent a couple of months working with our software provider, only to be disappointed with what we were delivered which failed in the first couple of days. We apologise for that. As frustrating as the software has been for you, our members, it has been equally frustrating for us when it has failed us and it is something we will be rectifying in the coming months.
WHAT ARE WE DOING GOING FORWARD
In the next fortnight you will see additional Aqua Aerobics classes added to the timetable. These will be in the afternoon and weekend as our timetable is already full of a morning and will depend on instructor availability but we will strive to add as many as viable.
We will also be launching Virtual Les Mills classes in the Mind and Body studio. So when you do miss out on a class, there will often be the option to book into a Virtual class. Even though you won’t get to enjoy your favourite instructor, you will have the opportunity to get your exercise in with a top quality instructor in a communal atmosphere. With over 500 hours of content, there is plenty of variety for all skill levels. So stay tuned for more information on Virtual Les Mills.
Finally, we do appreciate that class availability has been a frustration for some members and we share your frustration and apologise to those who have had difficulty accessing classes. We will keep working to provide as many classes as we can based on space we have available, and instructor availability. Our front desk staff will always do their best to help you and we would ask that you show patience and respect for our front desk staff. They can’t control the booking system and class capacities, but they are often the people who bare the brunt of everyone’s frustration. The girls and guys on the front desk only want to try and help you enjoy your time at Castle Hill Fitness. We expect them to be friendly, helpful and courteous to all our members and we would kindly ask that our members look after our front desk team as well.
FITNESS SHOWERS RE-OPEN MONDAY 24 AUGUST!
As members would be aware, since re-opening after our COVID shutdown we have kept the locker room showers closed. This was a best practice management policy recommended by both Fitness Australia and the NSW Government who have both advocated that during the Pandemic people should train and go straight home.
After careful consideration and monitoring the practices of other fitness facilities both locally and in other communities we have decided to re-open 4 showers in each of the change rooms. The showers in the centre of the shower block will remain closed to reduce any possible cross contamination and you will see some new procedures in place, and some old one’s re-enforced, to ensure safety is maintained.
Most importantly – If you have been swimming or participating in Aqua Aerobics you MUST dry off before entering the locker rooms. Similarly, once you have had your shower, please dry off in the Shower before returning to your belongings. In addition to spot cleaning done throughout the day, the Locker rooms will be closed for 30 minutes in the middle of the day for deep cleaning:
- Men’s will be closed Monday-Friday from 12:30-1pm
- Ladies from 1-1:30pm.
Members will not have access to the Locker rooms in these short windows and will need to store belongings in the bag storage spaces provided in the venue and use the toilets upstairs. When waiting to use showers members are asked to respect their fellow members space and to keep social distancing in place.
Hand basins remain for washing hands ONLY DO NOT rinse off swim wear or any clothing in hand basins DO NOT use hand basins for shaving, brushing teeth or other personal grooming practices.
Showers in our Aquatic Hall remain closed. This is simply due to the small size of the area and the inability to safely control the capacity in these locker rooms. We will continue to monitor and consider our options.
It still remains Castle Hill Fitness and Aquatic Centre’s strong recommendation that when people finish their workout, they leave and shower and/or change at home or their office.
Our Spa and Steam Room remain closed. This remains the case not only because it is best practice according to many governing bodies, but with limits on numbers we could have in those facilities (3 in the Steam room and 2 in the Spa) there is no way to fairly and equitably manage these spaces to ensure everyone got an equal opportunity to use them and to use them as frequently as they would like.
We apologise for this inconvenience but as much as we know many of our members enjoy the spa and steam room, it remains a high risk area and the safety of our members is paramount.
STRIKES START FOR NO-SHOWS
The Online Bookings have been going well and we hope you are enjoying this feature.
Due to the numbers of members not showing for classes and not cancelling their bookings we have commenced sending SMS to No Shows.
If you register more than 3 Strikes, you will be denied access for 1 Month from the Online Bookings App and will need to show up to Classes at Reception to see if spots are still available.
Please do the right thing and cancel your classes if you cannot make your class and allow the spot for someone else
NEW ONLINE WAITING LIST COMING SOON
We are excited that soon we will be offering a Class Booking Waitlist Option
– When a Session/Class reaches full capacity, we will automatically create a new Waitlist class for that Session.
– The online experience will change with the book button transformed into a Waitlist button.
– You can register for the Waitlist through our current online ActiveCarrot (coming soon).
– When you register, an automated email will be sent advising you of your position in the queue.
– If you cancel your booking, the next member on the Waitlist is automatically enrolled and notified.
– Automated emails will be sent to you to remind you about your upcoming class the night before.
Stay tuned…Coming very soon
SCHOOL CHILDREN PROCEDURES
The health and wellbeing of our members and guests remains our number one priority. To this end, Castle Hill Fitness and Aquatic Centre is continuing to monitor the occurrence and impact of COVID-19 in our local community – adjusting our policies and guidelines where necessary, to ensure we are providing a safe environment for our members and guests.
In light of this, the Gymnastics and Aquatic specialties at Castle Hill Fitness and Aquatic Centre would like to assure our families that we will endeavour to continue providing the safest possible environment by requesting your cooperation with, and adherence to, the following guidelines:
- If you, or a member of your household, has attended a school that has been closed as a result of COVID-19, we ask that you refrain from visiting Castle Hill Fitness and Aquatic Centre for the duration of the school’s closure.
- Follow any directives regarding isolation and testing, issued by the NSW Health department, with relation to your school.
- Contact the Gymnastics or Aquatic administration to advise of your situation. We will organise appropriate action to place your classes at Castle Hill Fitness and Aquatic Centre on hold, until you are cleared to resume.
- If you have not been instructed to self-isolate, you may return to our facility when your school has re-opened.
Please remember that if you are unwell, or if you have recently visited any of the highlighted and known hotspots, please refrain from visiting Castle Hill Fitness and Aquatic Centre. It is our aim to continue to develop and maintain procedures that ensure the risk within Castle Hill Fitness and Aquatic Centre is minimised, and we will be sure to work with our families and the community to clearly communicate any updates.
Thank you for your support. The implementation of changes to our process is not taken lightly, and is done with the safety of our members in mind.
Thank you for your understanding.