At the start of lockdown, sports clubs, gyms, and leisure centres were considered high-risk areas where Covid-19 could be easily spread. Due to the tactile nature of sport and exercise, the infection rate rose considerably within these spaces, forcing them to close down. Sports facilities were consequently shut for months until the infection rate dropped to acceptable levels. All sports and leisure facilities suffered a huge loss of revenue, and the necessity for the safe re-opening of these facilities became important to their survival.
Equally affected by the pandemic, sports pitches, stadiums, and courts have struggled to manage the spread of infection between fans, causing huge issues with funding and revenue. These areas are struggling to open back up due to common critical touch points where the virus resides, and fans close proximities to each other, especially within private and executive boxes. Nearly all spectator sport areas are still closed and looking for ways to safely reopen.
In order for gyms, sports and leisure centres to re-open new strict cleaning and sanitation regulations were put in place. Gym and sports equipment have to be sanitised between uses, facilities need to be frequently cleaned, and users must remain at least 1 meter away from each other and meet up in groups of no more than 6.
Although new safety regulations are working well, both are time and financially costly and are not always 100% effective. The time it takes to manually clean all sports equipment, as well as the entire facility, can be unmanageable with a high and quick turnover of users, and can miss key areas where the virus resides.