The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Government on Wednesday issued new guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. According to the new guidelines, the Mumbai Metro has been allowed to resume its services. Government and private libraries, local weekly bazaars and Business to Business (B2B) exhibitions will also restart. Shops have also been permitted to open for two additional hours from October 15.
Meanwhile, fitness enthusiasts in the state were waiting in bated breath for the government's announcement on the reopening of gyms. However, the new guidelines do not mention anything about it. Hence, it's safe to assume that the gyms in the state will remain closed until further notice from the Maharashtra government.
Besides, there have been numerous reports of gyms being illegally functional in the state. According to a report, many gyms in Vasai-Virar, Panvel and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) were open sans permission from the state government.
Earlier, thousands of gym owners and trainers protested against the state government and urged them to allow reopening of the fitness centres.
“We have submitted the standard operating procedures to be undertaken and we are of the view that we need equal support from the government to ensure smooth functioning of the gyms. Moreover, saying that gyms are places where you can get infected easily, instead of the fact that you build your immunity with fitness, will adversely affect existing as well as new memberships. Currently, the fitness industry has seen a surge in its expenses and a deep dip in revenue,” Nikhil Kakkar, COO at Gold’s Gym had said in September.
It is also important to note that State Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar had in August said that the government was likely to allow indoor gymnasiums to restart in "the next two days". "We have received many memorandums demanding the reopening of gyms, and the state government is likely to allow gyms to restart in the next two days by asking them to follow social distancing norms. They would have to follow these norms or face action," Wadettiwar had said.