NEW YORK, United States — Equinox Group and its portfolio of brands, which includes SoulCycle, will require its members and employees to show one-time proof of vaccination to enter its clubs, studios and corporate offices, starting in New York City in early September.
According to the company, the decision was made after a recent survey taken by its employees and members, revealed that 96 percent of respondents had already been vaccinated, alongside 89 percent of its responding employees. In addition, an overwhelming majority of its members expressed support for requiring vaccines in order to access Equinox clubs.
Equinox Group says it plans to introduce similar policies in all of its markets moving forward. However, it has stated that it will work with individuals who require medical and religious accommodations, accordingly.
“We have always made the health and safety of our communities our top priority, and we will continue to do so in partnership with infectious disease experts as well as local governments,” said Harvey Spevak, Equinox Group Executive Chairman, of the decision.
Earlier this year, we reported on a survey from global fitness and wellness booking platform ClassPass, which highlighted the vital role it predicted vaccines would play as the fitness industry looks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
It revealed that more than two thirds (69%) of US members said they would prefer returning to classes that require a vaccine, and almost one in five (18%) planned to only return to studios with vaccine requirements. However, it is yet to be seen how vaccine-required studios and clubs will fare once any regulations officially come into effect.
Reacting to the news that Equinox and SoulCycle would be requiring proof of vaccination, individuals took to social media to both denounce and applaud the decision, with one user writing: “OMG! So oppressive…” and another “Why wait till Sept DO it NOW!”.
Equinox doubled down on its decision, responding: “It is our responsibility to take bold action. We encourage other leading brands to join us in this effort to best protect our communities. Who’s with us? #ItsNotFitnessItsLife.”
Elsewhere, the company says it will also continue to build on The Equinox Standard and The SoulCycle Standard of Fitness and Safety. Created during the COVID-19 pandemic in partnership with leading medical and infectious disease experts, and in accordance with state and local guidelines, both initiatives aim to continually raise levels of health, safety, and cleanliness standards across their facilities.
The implementation of vaccination requirements, it argues, will form a crucial role in this commitment, and be critical in safeguarding its community.