Governments from countries across the European Union have passed various laws regarding access to fitness clubs and swimming pools, strictly based on the COVID certificate.
That means that only people with a valid green pass that states they have been fully vaccinated against COVID or have recently healed from the disease can enter gyms and swimming pools. However, in some countries, people with a negative COVID test can also access these services as long as the test result is added to the green pass.
Therefore, gyms now have a new challenge in managing their members - scanning COVID certificates.
All EU citizens that have been vaccinated have a negative result on a COVID test or have passed through the disease, can demonstrate this through a digital certificate called EU Digital COVID certificate or green pass. The certificate is issued free of charge by the national authorities and is recognized by all the 27 member states of the EU and Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein.
The certificate consists of a QR code displayed on a device (such as a smartphone or a tablet) or printed out and a digital signature, verified through EU Gateway.
There are three ways to obtain an EU digital certificate regarding COVID:
EU citizens that have been vaccinated in a country outside of the EU can ask for an EU digital COVID certificate from their member state of citizenship or residence.
Each EU country has free apps to scan the QR code from green passes. These apps are connected to the same EU database and check, in real-time, the status of a green pass.
Unfortunately, you will have to do this operation with each member every time they visit the gym.
The main disadvantage of this process is that the member's check-in will take longer, and thus, the access to the gym gets more challenging, and queues could form at the front desk. At the same time, this system cannot be integrated into access control systems without using the front desk. That means you can no longer allow members to self-check in and pass through the turnstiles without being checked by an employee.
The only way to ensure the smoother running of accessing the club is to store the COVID certificates in your database. That way, when members visit your gym, you don't have to scan their green passes every time.
Still, it's important to remember that this COVID certificate contains many personal data. Whether they are vaccinated or passed through the illness, or have a negative test, the status of a person can easily fall into the category of sensitive personal data.
Thus, you can't save all of them and in any way.
Whatever the case, you need the explicit approval of a member to store this information for a specific purpose. This means that you are forbidden to use the data from the green certificate in any other way except to validate the access into the club.
My advice for you is that if you decide to store the green certificate in your database, only keep the expiration date because it's the only information you truly need.
Since we have foreseen the necessity of this document, we have launched as early as September a dedicated module for scanning and storing COVID certificates into the system, with the approval of the member.
Thus, fitness gyms that use this module do not need other apps. They can simply scan the QR code of the COVID certificate with any QR code reader. The system will only display the owner's name to limit the personal data being processed, and into the database is saved simply the expiration date of the certificate.
Once stored, it remains in the member's profile until the expiration date, and at their next visit, the member checks in regularly without showing a COVID certificate.
Of course, to store this information in the database, the member needs to give explicit consent. To simplify this process, we have put together three different streams through which the member can offer their consent online before arriving at the club, thus making the scanning process faster.
Because we want to back up the fitness sector in Romania as much as possible, the module for scanning COVID certificates is free of charge for all UPfit.cloud clients. That's why we created so many streams to obtain the members' consent so it can be used without any trouble even by the clubs that haven't acquired all the UPfit.cloud modules.
There is an easier way to get more members! Communicate efficiently with them through automated emails, provide them the option to purchase memberships online, delight them with a professional mobile app and member account, and surprise them with fast services at the reception desk.
With UPfit.cloud, everything is done quickly, and you can start seeing results in a matter of days. Find out the advantages of our platform in a 20-minute demo session.
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Each gym is unique. That is why UPfit.cloud has a wide range of services, tools, and features that perfectly match your business.
Regardless of how you manage your gym or fitness club activity, UPfit.cloud can be customized so it's easy to use for your team and simple for your members.