WHILE more restrictions eased across Victoria on Sunday, gyms remain in the lurch on when they might be able to reopen.
The lack of clarity was particularly frustrating for Stawell's Damien Smith, who opened his gym Elite Contender in Stawell just as the pandemic began.
Mr Smith also has a new gym ready to be utilised in Nhill, but it is yet to be opened due COVID-restrictions.
Mr Smith said gym owners wanted more clarity from the state government as to when they would be allowed to reopen.
"It's very frustrating at the moment. We've been left in limbo," he said.
"They haven't given us any indication of when we can look toward reopening."
Mr Smith said current restrictions around gyms "don't make much sense".
"The fact that you can sit in a restaurant with 40 people without a mask on, but you can't have 10 in a gym... it's very frustrating," he said.
After the first lockdown in Victoria in June, gyms - alongside most other industries - were allowed to reopen.
On June 23 - the day after gyms were legally allowed to reopen in regional Victoria - there were 131 active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria.
As of Sunday, October 18, there were 137 active cases.
Despite the similarity in numbers, gyms have been given no indication they will be able to reopen any time soon.
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said on Sunday that gyms were a high-risk environment.
"That's not my opinion, that's not a matter that I've come up with, that's the international evidence," he said.
"We've gone further in relation to outdoor [exercise] but it is a very challenging environment and it's one of those things where no-one's taking any joy out of that.
"There'll be a time when they can, and we're looking at that closely, but I can't just give them the news they want now because it wouldn't be safe to do that."
Mr Smith said it was a frustrating wait.
"The frustrating thing is, that when we were open, our gyms had the strictest protocols," Mr Smith said.
"We had to cap it at 20 people for the whole gym. We were social distancing, sanitizing, all of that stuff.
"All the members wiped down equipment, and everyone had to check in to the gym when they arrived, so contact tracing was very easy as well.
"Right now you can go to a busy Kmart and nobody knows when you were there or for how long. The tracing that is going on there is going to be a lot more difficult than a local gym."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Stawell Times-News. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the region, sign up here.