It’s been a long five-month wait for fitness fans, but they can finally return to hitting weights in their beloved gyms. The Maharashtra Government proposes to issue guidelines allowing reopening of gyms with SOPs in the next two days. This was disclosed by the Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation Vijay Wadettiwar who informed that he had signed the file on Thursday and submitted the file to the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for his signature. Wadettiewar said, “The government is likely to issue orders on Independence Day.’’
The Founding Member of the Gym Owners Association of India Prabodh Davkhare told Free Press Journal, “We are glad to hear this news but twice this kind of announcement was made and the gyms remained closed. This has led to severe disappointment. Hope this time gyms start at the earliest.’’ He said gyms have already prepared a comprehensive standard operating procedure which will be strictly adhered to avoid coronavirus infection.
Wadettiwar’s statement comes close on the heels of recent meetings held by the gym operators with Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, MNS chief Raj Thackeray and union minister Ramdas Athavale. They had pleaded for an early reopening of gyms for the larger interest of the people to combat Covid 19. It was also necessary for gym operators to stay afloat and also save the jobs for trainers.
Mumbai District Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh had announced on June 25 that gyms will be reopened from June 28 but it did not happen because of differences among various government departments.
On Tuesday, a delegation of gym owners, bodybuilders and fitness trainers met MNS chief Raj Thackeray. Thackeray told them: “You restart your gyms, let us see whatever happens... If the Centre has permitted yoga and gyms to reopen by asking them to follow social distancing norms, does the state have a different intellect?”
As reported by FPJ, as per SOP for gyms, peak and non-peak attendance will be pre-determined by booking of time slots on a first come first basis while temperature checks will be mandatory. The members will have to carry quick dry towels and will be monitored to ensure no touch interactions.