19th May 2020
As fitness centres begin to reopen around the world, gym goers adapt to new social distancing measures like reduced capacity, plexiglass dividers and health surveys
A recently reopened Hong Kong gym shows exactly what pandemic workouts will look like as life begins its slow and hopeful crawl back to normalcy.
Since Hong Kong’s reporting of no new cases last month, it began to reopen its economy on May 8 and officially opened its bars, cinemas and gyms with social distancing precautions in place.
A glimpse into a branch of Pure Fitness shows what working out with safety measures looks like.
The future of gyms
The gym shared its newest renovations on social media, including plexiglass dividers between ellipticals, treadmills and step machines.
These dividers are designed to safely separate gym goers who are less than two metres apart. However, masks are also encouraged in these situations as dividers aren’t always effective.
Upon arrival to the workout centre, members must fill out a health survey for approval, listing recent travel history, contact details and admit if they’ve been in contact with Covid-19 patients.
They must also have their temperature taken, phone sanitised by a UV light machine and disinfect all equipment before/after use.
However, Hong Kong isn’t the only place that’s reopened with Covid-19 prevention measures in place.
In the U.S., states like Georgia, Tennessee, Iowa and Oklahoma have opened their gym doors with various new policies in place.
Most of these have limited use to cardio and strength equipment areas only, turning on every other machine, cancelling gym classes, closing pool areas and water fountains, and frequently sanitising equipment.
Gold’s Gym chain in Georgia is implementing an hour-long cleaning intermission each afternoon, so that surfaces can be santised halfway through the day.
And, in Montana, Fuel Fitness is cleaning frequently used equipment every hour.
Some fitness centres in Germany, like Fivestar Fitness in Bonn, have started reopening as well, and German gym goers are already adapting to new compulsory standards.
Members must wash and sanitise hands upon entering, disinfect equipment after use and stay 1.5 metres apart from one another.
While members are encouraged to wear face masks, staff are required to do so, and to frequently santise workout machines which are all three metres apart.
Here in Ireland, however, gyms are not set to reopen until the final phase of lockdown lifts on August 10, when we could see similar safety precautions in place for members.
Until then, we’ll have to stick to our online workouts and exercise within our allowed radius.
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