Extension of the certificate requirement – will I get my money back if I cancel my fitness subscription?

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If you do not want to be vaccinated or tested, you are no longer allowed to train in the gym despite a subscription. The most important questions and answers about compulsory certification in fitness centers.

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Admission only for those who have been vaccinated, tested and recovered: The Federal Council is extending the certificate requirement to fitness centers.

imago images/CTK Photo

Anyone who does not have a Covid certificate is left behind.

Anyone who does not have a Covid certificate is left behind.

20min/Marco Zangger

According to lawyer Alexander Theiler, everyone has the opportunity to continue to visit the studio - even those who have not been vaccinated.

According to lawyer Alexander Theiler, everyone has the opportunity to continue to visit the studio – even those who have not been vaccinated.

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  • From Monday, a certificate is required in the fitness studios.

  • People without a certificate ask themselves many questions.

  • Lawyer Alexander Theiler from Zurich law firm Theiler Hablützel Rechtsanwälte answers the most important legal questions.

  • While the fitness association is expecting losses, the fitness operator Raphy Biedermeier predicts a boom in outdoor bootcamps.

From Monday it’s pumped out: Fitness fans who have not been vaccinated, recovered or tested are prohibited from accessing fitness centers. Certain companies such as the Nonstop Gym have already reacted: The fitness center asks its customers to upload the Covid certificate in order to secure access to fitness. Even Activ Fitness offers the option to deposit the Covid certificate. This makes it possible to check into the studio without further exams. The company also advises that the subscription can be paused for a fee of 50 francs. However, many more questions remain open for customers:

Do people under 16 also have to present a certificate in fitness centers?

No, the certificate requirement only applies to people aged 16 and over.

Can I cancel my fitness subscription early now? Will I get my money back then?

“No, this is not possible,” says lawyer Alexander Theiler from Zurich law firm Theiler Hablützel Rechtsanwälte. “From a legal point of view, the fitness studio’s performance has not become ‘impossible’ because it remains open.” Everyone has the opportunity to continue to attend the studio – even those who have not been vaccinated. However, they would have to show a negative test or a certificate to prove that they have recovered. “It is not the responsibility of the fitness studios to incur costs for this”, says Theiler.

Can I pause my fitness subscription?

“Some fitness studios provide in their general terms and conditions (GTC) that the subscription can be paused under certain conditions,” says Theiler. This is the case, for example, when a customer presents a medical certificate which certifies that training is not possible from a medical point of view or when the customer is in military service. “Analogous to the above question, however, the current situation does not entitle you to pause the subscription.”

Can I sell my fitness subscription or transfer it to someone else?

This is usually already regulated in the general terms and conditions of the fitness studios and has nothing to do with the current situation, says Theiler. “Although contractual rights and obligations are basically transferable, the fitness studios have stipulated in their ABGs that the fitness subscription or membership in the fitness studio is personal and non-transferable.”

Can the fitness operator pass the corona risks on to the customer in the terms and conditions?

“In principle, regulations that significantly disadvantage consumers are already unfair and therefore invalid,” says Theiler. “Therefore, a regulation that shifts all risks in the event of a long lockdown to the customer is likely to be invalid.”

During the duration of a contract – including a fitness subscription – it is fundamentally possible to change applicable terms and conditions. However, the customer must be able to reject the new provisions within a reasonable period of time. “However, he usually has to actively inform the gym, otherwise the new regulations apply.”

Do I also need a certificate for my appointment with the physiotherapist?

“No, physiotherapies are not covered by the new regulation on mandatory certification,” says Theiler. No certificate is therefore required for the next appointment at the physio.

Do employees in a fitness center also have to have a certificate?

No. But the employer can request a corresponding certificate and he can also check this on his employees if this serves to determine appropriate protective measures or to implement the test concept. There must be no discrimination between unvaccinated and recovered as well as unvaccinated employees.

What effects do fitness operators expect?

Claude Ammann, President of the Swiss Fitness and Health Center Association, expects major losses: “We assume that we will lose around 20 to 25 percent of our customers.”

Others, such as Raphy Biedermann, owner of the nextlevel Sports Club, expects a boom in outdoor activities such as bootcamps. “Since people without a certificate are not allowed to change clothes or shower in the cloakroom, there are still organizational questions to be clarified.” He sees the fact that his core business is primarily focused on personal training and group courses with a maximum of ten participants as a great advantage: “Since groups of less than 30 people will probably not be required to have a certificate, we are in pole position.” Many people who previously trained in conventional fitness centers would now finally look for an alternative.

Do you or does someone you know have problems with the corona time?

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