Ontario has been the slowest Canadian province to reopen fitness facilities, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, but with the province moving to Step 3 of its reopening plan on Friday July 16, indoor personal fitness and training facilities can resume—as long as the following conditions are met:
- The number of people permitted indoors doesn’t exceed 50% capacity.
- The number of people permitted indoors must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person.
- The fitness trainer must record the name and contact information of every member of the public whom they are providing services to, maintain the records for a period of at least one month, and disclose the records to a medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request.
- Trainers must actively screen individuals before they engage in personal physical fitness training activities.
Measures will vary across gyms. At GoodLifeFitness, no bookings will be needed for the general workout floor (although anyone hoping to join a group fitness class will have to book a time slot through the gym’s website or app).
Patrons are being encouraged to keep their workouts to 90 minutes or less, which has some worried this will mean long lineups.
Lol y’all read the email? You can walk in to workout only if they aren’t at capacity and they “encourage” people to keep their workouts to 90mins or less. Mans gonna have to stand outside and wait smh
— Moe (@_Moeabdi) July 9, 2021
As for masks—patrons won’t need to wear them while working out, but they must be worn when entering and exiting the gym, in change rooms, and while moving between workout stations.
Showing proof of vaccination, or a sort of vaccine passport, is another contentious issue for gyms.
GoodLife was trending on Wednesday after tweeting that, at this time, they will not require associates or members to be vaccinated to enter their locations.
“For privacy reasons, GoodLife will not disclose information regarding any individual Associate’s vaccination status.”
The gym received some backlash on this decision, with some even claiming that GoodLife isn’t doing enough to stop a potential fourth COVID wave.
Thx for telling me why I should never get another membership with you
— Covid Is Airborne ????????? (@SlyStu2012) July 14, 2021
But others support the gym’s decision—highlighting the ongoing debate of privacy issues vs. public health concerns.
YMCA GTA will reopen with a host of safety protocols. When indoors, all members, volunteers and staff must wear a mask (that covers/fits their chin, nose, and mouth) in their health and fitness centres at all times, including while working out. Measures will also be taken to promote social distancing, including spacing equipment at least three metres apart, capping the number of members in their centres at any given time, and physical distancing in locker rooms.
We are excited about the news that Ontario will soon be moving to Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen on July 16. We can’t wait to finally open our doors to you next Friday. We’ll share all the details soon! pic.twitter.com/n6cRnuh4Q7
— YMCAGTA (@YMCAGTA) July 10, 2021
Even with the host of restrictions, some people think the gym openings are taking place too early—and that gym owners should wait until more people are vaccinated.
We know Delta is highly transmissible, we know unvaccinated are at higher risk , we know gyms are higher risk, we know transmission in households is high yet we allow this to happen… https://t.co/rCHanNQknB
— ?? Bill Comeau Crush the Curve ? (@Billius27) July 12, 2021
Will I be going back to the gym?
Definitely not yet.
With masks able to removed at your workout station, no requirement for participants to be vaccinated, no sign-in times (to aide in tracing and reduce waiting), and 50% capacity, it’s an easy choice for me.
— Ryan Imgrund (@imgrund) July 13, 2021
On Wednesday, Ontario reported 153 cases of COVID-19 with nearly 29,100 tests completed. This includes 28 new cases in Toronto, 23 in the Region of Waterloo, 20 in Grey Bruce, 19 in Peel Region, and 12 in Middlesex-London.
As of Wednesday morning, 17,475,655 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered.
Click here for more COVID-19 Ontario updates.