Health pass: sports halls faced with numerous requests for termination

RESTRICTIONS – With the introduction of the health pass at the entrance to sports halls since July 21, fitness clubs are facing the anger of subscribers threatening to cancel their subscription. Attendance at theaters is already on the decline.

The implementation of the health pass was not well taken by certain subscribers of the sports halls. Even as fitness groups began to communicate for its first day of application on Wednesday, threats of termination were already being heard on social media.

Threats that quickly turned into reality. At the Aubière Fitness Park, in Puy-de-Dôme (63), David Bory estimates that nearly 50% of their subscribers did not yet have a complete vaccination schedule. « We have a significant drop in clientele, it has generated a lot of tension« , regrets the manager.

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Covid-19: the challenge of vaccination

At the national level too. « We have received a lot of cancellation requests, people don’t want to wait for the health pass », notes Thierry Doll, president of the Active-FNEAPL union, which represents nearly 1,700 fitness clubs. He adds : « We have seen that the rural world is more affected than the cities ».

« Faced with requests for reimbursement, we try to find an amicable agreement with customers, but it is not always easy », recognizes this representative. Some groups offer an alternative subscription suspension, while the health pass is completed.

Confusion around the 50-person gauge

On the side of other groups of sports halls, the leakage of members has been limited thanks to the establishment of a gauge of less than 50 people supposed to make it possible to avoid controlling the health pass. But the decree published in Official newspaper specifies that this gauge is determined « depending on the number of people whose reception is planned by the operator of the establishment or place or by the organizer of the event » and not by the number of people received.

The Minister of Sports also recalled this rule in a tweet: « The threshold of 50 people relates to the capacity of the ERP [établissement recevant du public] and not to the actual number of people at a time T, and is understood to be per day « .

This explanation was also given to cinemas which used this « trick ». Finally, the Ministry of Health reversed this decision by authorizing operators to organize screenings without pass control, but with a gauge of less than 50 tickets sold fixed in advance. It remains to be seen whether the rules for sports halls could also change in this direction.

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Between the ads and their adaptation in any case, the confusion is great, and this has an impact on attendance. « Normally, we welcome 250 to 300 people per day and at the moment, we barely reach 100 people », observes David Bory.

This worries this sector which had to close for eight months this year. « In June, at the reopening, we noticed a peak like the restaurants, which stabilized. We then found more or less the volumes of June 2019. But as soon as the health pass was announced, it dropped. « , explains Thierry Doll.

The various officials hope that members will return within a few weeks, until their vaccination schedule is complete. « I’m especially worried about September », continues David Bory. It’s an important month for us and if there is a health pass or if we have to close depending on the evolution of the virus, it will be complicated « .

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