GoodLife Fitness has sparked controversy on social media after revealing that it won’t require staff or members to be vaccinated in Ontario.
The company announced its vaccination policy on July 12, four days ahead of Ontario’s move to Step 3 and the reopening of gyms in the province.
“At this time, we are not planning to require Associates or Members to be vaccinated to enter our locations,” GoodLife tweeted.
“For privacy reasons, GoodLife will not disclose information regarding any individual Associate’s vaccination status.”
Hey there! At this time, we are not planning to require Associates or Members to be vaccinated to enter our locations. For privacy reasons, GoodLife will not disclose information regarding any individual Associate’s vaccination status.
— GoodLife Fitness (@GoodLifeFitness) July 12, 2021
The move was met with backlash, with many members stating they would cancel their GoodLife membership as a result.
Others pointed out that the “unhealthy measure” was in stark contrast to the gym’s name.
ok will not renew my membership until you do.
— gol🇨🇦=❤️ ✌ (@FierceGB090) July 17, 2021
I was going to keep my membership, even though my 24/7 club is now restricted hours that don’t work well for me. This just changed my mind. I need to call and cancel tomorrow #vaccination #VaccinesWork
— Nocturnal EMS Dispatcher (@suzilaur) July 17, 2021
Good to know. I ended my membership a while ago. I was thinking of going back but…no thanks.
— The Optomist (@OptomistThe) July 17, 2021
Just wanted to add my voice as a family physician and longtime member for 12+ years to those disappointed by GoodLife’s decision not to prioritize the health and safety of its members, employees and their families/contacts. I also will not be returning.
— Christopher Matthews (@ChrisMatthewsMD) July 16, 2021
I guess you’re going to rebrand as GoodDeath?
— Stuart McCarthy (@PRproguy) July 16, 2021
Welcome to GoodLife fitness! What are you working on today? Chest? Legs? Your chance of contracting COVID-19? https://t.co/p0qe724Lxd
— Norm Kelly (@norm) July 15, 2021
I would strongly prefer if all staff and members have to be fully vaccinated. Safety over privacy.
A very simple ask.
— Cathy Morvai (@cmorv) July 16, 2021
Thank you for the reminder to cancel
— Jess Shields (@jess_shieldsCAN) July 15, 2021
Change your name to ShortLife
— Tsiehta ⚛️ (@Tsiehta) July 16, 2021
Despite the fallout, GoodLife noted that its vaccination policy is in line with that of Ontario’s government.
During a press conference on July 15, Premier Doug Ford said he opposed workplaces requiring proof of vaccination.
He noted, though, that the imposing such a measure would be up to private companies, not the province.
Ford said his government would also not be making vaccines mandatory, and would not be imposing a COVID-19 vaccine passport system.
“I’ve never believed in proof,” Ford said when asked about physical vaccine cards. “The answer is no. We aren’t going to do it. We aren’t going to have a split society.”
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In May, a Toronto gym was faced with the opposite problem.
Sweat & Tonic, a spin, yoga, and HIIT workout studio, was forced to backtrack on its mandatory vaccination policy after customers claimed it was discriminatory.
The gym had originally said it would require staff and guests to be vaccinated in order to protects the health of both groups, but changed course after the announcement was met with criticism on social media.
“It was never our intention to force anyone to make medical decisions faster than they had planned,” Sweat & Tonic said. “This policy was never meant to be divisive.”
Daily Hive has reached out to GoodLife Fitness for more information and will update this story accordingly.