THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Under the third phase of unlocking the Covid-19 lockdown, the government has allowed gymnasiums and yoga centres to reopen from Wednesday, following the precautionary guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. However, most of them in the city will not be opening owing to the difficulties in following social distancing norms and the cost involved in sanitisation after each workout session.
“Fitness activities have to be planned keeping a floor area of four square metres per person. Each equipment has to be placed at a distance of six feet which will consume a lot of space. This will automatically decrease the number of customers. We will be able to accommodate only 10 customers in a day unlike the 400 we had prior to the pandemic,” said Sony Harilal, manager at Gold’s Gym. He also added that the number would decrease even further as people above 65 years have not been permitted to visit gyms,
“We don’t intend to start operations immediately since we require efficient planning before opening our doors to clients. More cleaning staff will have to be hired which is quite difficult at this time,” he said.
Given the situation in the city, many gymnasiums have decided not to resume their operations before August 31. “Since cases are increasing in the city, I’m unsure how many clients will turn up. Even the staff will find it difficult since most of them reside in containment zones,” said Sheena Chandran of Hamstrings. She mentioned that trainers are updating the workouts online via WhatsApp groups.
Similarly, Riyaz Haneefa, one of the owners at Q-fit gym said that they haven’t considered opening the gym owing to the challenges. Even yoga centres have decided to continue with online classes. “Since mid-March, we began giving yoga classes online. We have clients ranging from children to the elderly. Taking one-to-one sessions is risky for both our clients and trainers,” said Lakshmi R Nair of Lakshya Yoga Studio.
However, some gyms are planning to reopen in accordance with the precautionary guidelines since they have already suffered a huge loss after remaining shut for almost four months. “Although we won’t be able to receive the same number of customers, we have decided to open with the support of our staff,” said Anil Raj of Tiger Gym, who plans to resume operations from August 10.