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Goodlife Fitness closes all clubs amid COVID-19 outbreak
Published Monday, March 16, 2020 5:46AM EDT Last Updated Monday, March 16, 2020 6:59AM EDT
A Goodlife Fitness location in Toronto, Canada is pictured in this image taken from Google Street View. (Google/Google Street View)
TORONTO -- Goodlife Fitness, the biggest gym chain in Canada,has decided to close all of its locations amid a growing COVID-19 outbreak that has dramatically altered daily life.
In a statement issued late Sunday night, CEO David Patchell-Evans said that the gym chain has made the "difficult but important decision" to close all of its GoodLife Fitness and Fit4Less Clubs in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus.
The decision comes one day after the YMCA announced that it would close all of its health and fitness centres. So far LA Fitness, which also operates a large number of gyms in the GTA, remains open.
“Our purpose has always been to give every Canadian the opportunity to live a fit and healthy life. There is no moment in our history where that purpose is more important than today,” the statement from Goodlife Fitness reads. “Like other businesses across the country, we are closing our doors to further limit the spread of this virus and to protect the most vulnerable in our community. It is the right thing to do.”
Goodlife Fitness says that it will continue to pay its employees for the next two weeks to “to help lessen the financial burden of this tremendous change,” though it is unclear if additional supports will be offered should the closure extended beyond that.
They also say that they will be suspending member payments as of March 17 and will freeze paid-in full memberships and extend their expiry dates accordingly.
Efforts are also underway to create "digitial at-home fitness options" for members, the statement notes.
“We look forward to reopening our doors as soon as possible and welcoming everyone back. In the meantime, take care of yourself and each other,” Patchell-Evans said in the statement.