Although unlock 3.0 announced by the Central Government has given a green signal to the Gym Owners to Open up from 5th August but many of them feel that the final guidelines from the state government are necessary before they resume back, let’s see what they have to say here…
The Central government, recently in its Unlock 3.0 guidelines, said that gyms and fitness training centres can be opened from August 5 onwards. We all are aware of how exercising and a healthy routine goes a long way in living a healthy life. The pandemic has forced us to shut indoors, with many having had to miss their regular visits to the gyms and fitness centres.
This new guideline to open gyms has been a much-awaited one by many who depend on this business. Despite the central government’s order to re-open by August 5, most gym establishments have said unanimously that they will await all the rules and guidelines from the Goa government, which haven’t been issued till date.
Norbert D’Souza, owner of Norberts Fitness Studio said that despite the central governments green signal, they haven’t received any guidelines from the state government. “The central government has already announced (opening of gyms), but we are still waiting for the Goa government to issue us the guidelines. They have not yet announced anything,” he said.
Besides, he also said that sanitisation of the gyms and other equipment, use of thermal guns and sanitisers at entrance/exit will be adhered to. “There will be social distancing practised at all times within the gym premises. Only alternate treadmills and other gym machines will be allowed to be used,” he added, which will be followed across all the 11 fitness studios they have in Goa
Business within the fitness sector has been affected severely due to the lockdown that followed because of the coronavirus pandemic. With outdoor visits restricted, many have taken to keeping themselves fit by exercising with limited resources.
“It is very tricky for us as of now. I might take a call after a week or so. We will see the response from the people as around us there is a fear of the virus. If we begin and have no members coming, then it’s no point,” said Danees Kazi, proprietor of Fitness Five, Miramar. He also reiterated that the state government hasn’t issued any guidelines for gyms as of now.
Besides the other standard safety measures, Danees added that they plan to make face shields compulsory for those visiting the gym. “We will make face shields compulsory as masks are uncomfortable to exercise with. Face shields should work,” he said.
With social distancing norms in place, it is best advised for one to get their slots booked prior to visiting the gym. Danees said that they will be putting in place fixed slots at their gym, which people can book in advance. This, he said, will help staff sanitise the place properly before the next customers arrive.
With the government not issuing guidelines and mandated SOP’s yet, many have said that they will delay the opening of their gyms until everything has been put in place as per the requirements of the administration.
Savita Dabas, Managing Director at Goa Pilates Studio said, that being a Pilate studio, they have very limited people visiting, hence, they’ll be opening from August 5 onwards. “Ours being a Pilate studio, we have very limited people coming, maximum to just four people. We have always had a rule wherein the one who uses a machine will clean it. Secondly, our machines are always placed at a distance of 2 meters. So, we have everything in place, plus it is sanitised,” she said.
Melwin Soares, owner of Platinum Gym Margao, however, said that he doesn’t plan to open his gym anytime soon. “We didn’t receive any guidelines, but even if the guidelines come, we don’t plan on opening our gym anytime soon. Gym involves a lot of physical exercises and it is risky,” he said.
My Fitness Space, Fatorda has also said that they are uncertain to open yet. Owner Gaurav Sharma said, “We have not decided yet, probably we will see the response and then decide, mostly by the next Monday.” He also verified that no circular as such has been received by them whatsoever.
Sayed Ali Khan, owner of UFC gym in Aquem said, “Hopefully if the Goa government allows, we will open. We will have prior bookings and only limited clients per hour. Our capacity is around 10-15 members at the gym.”
Meanwhile, Paresh Govekar, owner at Fitness House Gym, Ribandar said that they will have strict rules in place once they open up for customers. “We have not received anything from the government yet, but we have our strict rules. If anyone isn’t feeling well, has cold or any symptoms they will not be allowed. Those from containment zones too will not be allowed,” he said.
He added that a maximum of one hour will be permitted per client, in addition to personal hygiene. “Personal hygiene should be maintained, one should carry their own mask, towel and sanitiser. Water is also advised to be carried by the respective person. To prevent crowd rush, clients will have to book prior to visiting the gym,” he said.
Infinity Gym Margao proprietor Govind Lotliker said that they will surely open, but are still awaiting all the SOP from the government. “Definitely we will open, but we are still waiting for the SOPs from the government. Besides, there will be social distancing norms, proper sanitisation and usage of thermal guns. For further guidelines, we are waiting to see what the government says.”
He added, “We might suggest our clients wear gloves, and we will have limited time slots which they (clients) will have to book prior to coming.” “We will wait and see what guidelines come from the government, and then decide. Till now nothing has been issued,” said another local gym outlet.
The coming days will only tell what really transpires from the state government, and what directions will be mandated for gyms and fitness studios to be followed across the state.