- Centre issues guidelines for Gyms & Yoga institutes to open up from Aug 5
- Centre said that no elderly visitors, persons with co-morbidities allowed
- Fitness centres located in containment zones are still not allowed to open
New Delhi: The Centre on Monday released detailed guidelines for gymnasiums and yoga institutes that are allowed to open from August 5 as part of the ‘Unlock 3’ phase. However, yoga institutes and gyms in containment zones, will continue to remain shut. Only those outside containment zones are allowed to open. Spas, sauna, steam bath and swimming pools are other facilities that will remain shut in this phase. The guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, however, have not got the green signal from the Delhi Government. According to the officials, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority is likely to held a meeting next week to discuss the opening of gyms and fitness centres.
The guidelines released seek to maintain social distancing between staff and visitors at yoga centres and gyms to avoid transmission of COVID-19 via respiratory droplets or surface contact. In the guidelines, the centre has also specifically advised people above 65 years and those with co-morbidities against using gyms in closed spaces. Stating the same, the guidelines noted,
Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below 10 are advised not to use gyms in closed spaces. Organisations managing yoga institutes and gymnasiums shall advise all members, visitors and staff accordingly.
The guidelines also stated that face cover or mask is mandatory at all times inside the premises for the visitors. However, during exercising, only a visor may be used as a mask may make breathing difficult. The guidelines also mentioned,
It is recommended to use the COVID-19 tracker app Aarogya Setu at all times.
The centre has also highlighted the importance of cleaning the floors and equipments and said,
The yoga or gym floor should have space of four metres per person. Equipment should be kept six feet apart, and wherever possible, they should be moved outdoors.
The guidelines further stated that specific pathways for entering and exiting the building with proper direction markings on the walls should be created by the gyms and yoga institutes.
In view of a potential threat of the spread of infection through air conditioners, the guidelines stated that for air-conditioning and ventilation, the temperature setting should be in the range of 24-30 degree celsius with the intake of fresh air as much as possible. The guidelines also noted,
Sessions should be staggered with minimum gap of 15-30 minutes between classes to avoid overlap between members arriving and leaving. Moreover, restricting the number of people per group in a fitness class should be based on the size of the room and the nature of the activity.
The Health Ministry’s guidelines say the gates to the buildings should have sanitizer dispensers and thermal screening devices. Only asymptomatic people including staff should be allowed to enter.
Highlighting what should be done if a person is suspected to be infected, the guidelines said,
The person should be kept in a room or area where they are isolated from others. The staff should immediately inform the nearest medical facility or call the state or district helpline.
Moreover, the health ministry also said that as far as feasible recorded music/songs may be played and shouting/laughter yoga exercise should not be allowed.
Sharing views on this unlocking phase in which gyms and yoga institutes are allowed to open up, Sarvesh Shashi, Founder, SARVA and Diva Yoga said,
After four long months, we are allowed to open up. We welcome this decision, however, it comes with its own challenges. Firstly, we have to open up in entirely different fashion, secondly, we are not sure if the public will visit health centres as such. As a responsible company, we will ensure we abide by all the necessary safety measures and precautions mandated by the government.
Media spokesperson for Cult Fit added,
We welcome the unlocking 3 decision by the government, we will from our end surely abide by all the rules and regulations listed in the guidelines. But, there is a fear, if people will come out just yet because coronavirus is still very much present. However, all this while, even in the lockdown phase, at Cult Fit, we decided to make sure, we do our bit towards changing people’s lifestyle, we had open up, at home, live sessions so that people can enjoy fitness from the comfort of their homes.
On the other hand, Founder of Indian Aquatic Academy Gym, located at sector 24, Noida, said,
Gyms and yoga institutes in the containment zone are still not allowed to open up, we belong to that category as of now. We will wait for the day when we are allowed to open up. In the past four months, we have suffered a huge loss and in my view, even after opening, we will continue to suffer losses, as not many will come out immediately.
India’s COVID-19 count crossed 19 lakh mark on Wednesday morning after 52,509 people tested positive in the last 24 hours, while the death count increased by 857 to reach 39,795, according to the Union Health Ministry. Over 12 Lakh patients across the country have recovered so far.
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