After months of home workouts, military personnel can once again utilize Ramstein’s Southside Fitness Center at a reduced capacity beginning Monday, June 15.
Initial fitness center access is limited to active duty personnel with an appointment scheduled through the Appointment Plus system; the system goes live on June 10. Appointments allow for proper contact tracing and ensure fitness centers stay within the appropriate capacity as designated by public health professionals.
Due to host nation COVID-19 hygiene precautions, patrons are allotted one hour each day to work out. Fitness equipment has been rearranged throughout the facility to ensure proper physical distancing and gym-goers must adhere to signs directing single points of entry and traffic flow. Once inside the facility, staff will check IDs and perform a verbal COVID-19 screening.
The plan to reopen was a team effort between 786th Force Support Squadron fitness center managers and follows recent Rheinland-Pfalz Corona Control Ordinances, which outline COVID-19 protection measures for the state of Rheinland-Pfalz.
“We looked at the industry standards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fitness industry and World Health Organization,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Daniel Whitman, 786th FSS noncommissioned officer in charge of fitness and sports. “We worked closely with the 86th Airlift Wing Public Health Office and 86th AW Legal Office to translate the German guidance.”
Every patron must bring a bottle of water, as they will not be permitted to drink directly from water fountains. A face covering must be worn at all times except when actively working out. While not mandatory, bringing a personal towel is highly encouraged. Although facilities will be cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the day, customers must wipe down equipment both before and after use as an extra precaution.
Some resources will be off limits, including high-contact items such as plates, belts and foam rollers. Available equipment includes cardio machines, selectorized machines, benches and certain free weights.
Restrooms remain open. However, locker rooms to include showers and saunas remain closed. Also unavailable are parent-child areas, racquetball courts, group fitness classes and trainers.
Whiteman acknowledges the new guidelines are strict and may take some getting used to, but is confident the new plans will ensure customer and staff safety.
This reopening marks the first of 786th FSS’s five-phase plan to return to normal operations. The Northside and Vogelweh Fitness Centers are slated to reopen in future phases pending any change to current health precautions.
Q: What are the phases for reopening all KMC Air Force fitness centers?
Phase I (June 15): Southside Fitness Center open for active duty only, Mon. – Fri.
Phase II (*June 22): Northside Fitness Center open for active duty only, Mon. – Fri.
Phase III (*June 25): Vogelweh Fitness Center open for active duty only, Mon.- Fri.
Phase IV (*July 7): All fitness centers will reserve peak hours for active duty. Off-peak hours will also be open for retirees, family and DoD civilians.
Phase V (date TBD): Off-peak hours projected to increase and be open for all patrons.
*All phases and dates subject to change in accordance with Host Nation Policy.
Q: Are fitness centers going to be 24/7 access?
A: No, fitness centers have reduced hours and access is limited to those with an existing appointment booked through the Appointment Plus system. Appointment start times are as follows during Phases I-III:
Southside Fitness Center:
6:00 a.m. / 8:00 a.m. / 10:00 a.m. / 4:00 p.m. / 6:00 p.m. / 8:00 p.m.
Northside Fitness Center:
5:00 a.m. / 7:00 a.m. / 9:00 a.m. / 11:00 a.m.
Vogelweh Fitness Center:
6:00 a.m. / 8:00 a.m. / 10:00 a.m. / 2:00 p.m. / 4:00 p.m. / 6:00 p.m.
Q: How can I make an appointment?
A: Visit Appointment Plus at https://booknow.appointment-plus.com/9rm3mcns/. If you don’t have one already, follow the on-screen instructions to make an account. On the left of the screen, on the dropdown under “Location,” select Ramstein Air Base. On the “Select Base Agency” drop-down, find Southside Fitness Center. Under “Select Base Service” select Southside Fitness Center again. Select your desired date and then “Book it” under the desired appointment time. Customers must arrive at least 10 minutes prior to appointment time and show their common access card to enter.
Q: Can I book an appointment the same day I wish to workout?
A: No. Appointments must be made at least 24 hours in advance.
Q: Can I make multiple appointments for one day?
A: No. patrons are asked not to monopolize fitness center time in order to allow others time to utilize the facility.
Q: How long can I stay at the fitness center?
A: During the initial phases, each customer is limited to one hour of workout time per day.
Q: What if I show up halfway through my scheduled hour?
A: All patrons must exit the facility once their appointment time expires. If members arrive 30 minutes into their appointment, they only have 30 minutes remaining to work out.
Q: What if I need to cancel my appointment? Can I swap appointment times with a friend?
A: If you need to cancel your appointment, please contact the Southside Fitness Center at DSN 480-0294. Due to the importance of contact tracing, we cannot allow members to swap appointment times without notifying fitness center staff.
Q. When will we no longer need to make appointments to work out?
A. Appointments are mandatory for patrons until phase IV.
Q: What equipment will be available?
A: During phases I-IV, cardio machines, selectorized machines, benches and free weight will be available. All other equipment is projected to become available in later phases.
Q: What resources will be off-limits?
A: High-contact items such as plates, belts and foam rollers. Also unavailable will be locker rooms, showers, saunas, parent-child areas, racquetball courts, group fitness, classes and trainers.
Q: Am I required to bring anything to workout?
A: Every patron must bring their ID card, a face covering and a water bottle. A personal towel is also highly encouraged.
Q: Do I have to wear a face covering while working out?
A: No. Face coverings are required at all times except while actively working out. This means face coverings are required when walking from station to station or from machine to machine, but are not required when using the machine.
Q: How do I know I will be safe from COVID-19?
A: While it is impossible to eliminate all risk of contracting COVID-19, the 786th FSS is following German ordinances and industry standards, while working closely with 86th AW Public Health to create the safest, most hygienic environment possible.
Q: Will I be able to work out in a group?
A: Unfortunately, no. Customers must maintain physical distancing. The 786th FSS staff will monitor room capacities and restrictions to help keep customers safe.
Q. Can my unit schedule group physical training?
A. No, at this time we are unable to accommodate group PT.