(Facebook, Virgin Active)
(Facebook, Virgin Active)
  • Virgin Active closed its Cresta club in Johannesburg on Thursday after a member tested positive for the novel coronavirus. 
  • This after the group closed its Melrose Arch branch in similar fashion.
  • Virgin Active said it is disinfecting the entire facility – but is worried other institutions are not taking the same level of care.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

South African gym chain Virgin Active has closed its Cresta club in Johannesburg after a member who had visited it tested positive for the novel coronavirus, or SARS-Cov-2. 

This comes a day after the group closed its Melrose Arch club under similar circumstances.

By Thursday afternoon, South Africa had 150 confirmed cases of the virus of the virus.

See also | Covid-19 update: Confirmed cases in South Africa jump to 150 - up from 116

Virgin Active said all Cresta club members should have received an SMS, and will also receive an email, explaining when the man visited the club and how the club is being disinfected.

“Closing the club was a proactive measure on our part to disinfect the entire facility (the team comes in in hazmat suits!),” Virgin Active told Business Insider South Africa via email. 

“We have not seen any retailers, restaurants or shopping centres do the same.” 

Also read: Virgin Active has halved group classes, and now offers ‘online workouts’ due to Covid-19

The gym group said it proactively opted to close the Melrose Arch club on Wednesday after a member who visited it on 13 March was in touch to say she had tested positive for the virus.

That gym is set to reopen tomorrow after being disinfected. 

“We were one of many places she visited over the course of time, and she believes she contracted the virus from a colleague who had travelled,” the company said. 

After a public outcry, Virgin Active changed its policy of charging a 50% fee to pause membership payments, and will now allow all members to freeze their accounts free of charge. 

“We are working hard to maintain a balance between good corporate citizenry with our growing list of interventions in response to the virus threat, and saving jobs that can ill-afford to be lost,” it said.