Gym owner criticized for his ‘blatant’ attitude towards NSW COVID-19 lockdown restrictions
The NSW gym owner who has faced criticism for his stance on COVID-19 restrictions insists he is trying to work within lockdown guidelines.
the main points:
- Police Rhyss Keane Issued a Personal Infringement Notice for Breach of COVID-19 Restrictions
- Mr. Kane’s personal social media pages conveyed anti-lockdown sentiment
- Mr. Kane says he sticks to the rules as best he can and plans to fight the fine in court
Police said they saw a man – whom ABC understood to be Rhys Kane – with two other people inside a Wyoming gym on the Central Coast last Wednesday.
According to a police statement, each person was fined $1,000 for violating the public health system.
Central Coast Parliamentary Secretary Adam Crouch told ABC that behavior of the kind alleged was unacceptable.
“Obviously he needs to look into why he was fined and make sure he didn’t break health orders,” he said.
“All it takes is one person with this virus to start one of those seeding events, which we’ve seen spread in Sydney.
Under state restrictions, gyms in Greater Sydney must remain closed, but outdoor exercise in groups of two is permitted.
Kane said two employees were briefly inside the gym to haul equipment to take outside to train people, and he would fight the fine in court.
He denied that anyone else was being fined, and said he would continue to adhere to the guidelines “as much as he could”.
But Mr Keane’s speech on his personal social media accounts about the lockdown and the pandemic, which goes against official advice, has also come under criticism.
In one of the videos posted over the weekend, Kane said he wouldn’t stop his customers from wearing face masks, but would sacrifice them “shit” if they chose to.
In another post last week, Mr Keane said: “It’s crazy to think that in 2021 in New South Wales I could be arrested for opening my own gym.”
Text posted from July 9 is as follows:
Crouch described the posts as “disturbing” and “beyond the pale”.
Barry Elvish, CEO of Fitness Australia, said it was a frustrating time for the industry, but cautioned against violating health regulations.
“We all suffer,” said Mr. Elvish.
“The whole idea of the exercise community, the fitness community, is the care, well-being and general health of individuals and society at large.
“I don’t think breaking regulations helps help anyone do that.”
Kane, who is not a member of Fitness Australia, told ABC he was doing “everything within reason” to follow the guidelines, but said he couldn’t force his clients to wear masks and wanted to stay open to maintain their mental and physical health. .
“I try to work within the guidelines as much as I can, but again it’s a gray area,” said Mr. Kane.
“I also understand that I accept the risk that I may have to pay these fines, and this is something I would like to do to defend myself, and defend other small businesses.
“I try to do people a favor.
“Obviously, for people to lift weights, it’s an outlet – it helps with mental health especially when people’s health is suffering during lockdown.
Mr Keane said the police were visiting his work daily after receiving complaints from the community.