As part of efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Health Ministry has unveiled guidelines for the operation of gyms ahead of their opening on June 13.
These set a maximum number of people who can be exercising in the gym — one person per 10 square metres — close changing rooms and saunas, set a distance between equipment and recommend taking your own water.
In order to avoid congestion, the ministry recommends a booking system both for group sessions and at the equipment, with possibly setting a time limit for users.
Here are some of the main points in the new guidelines
Personnel will be required to supervise clients to ensure their compliance with the rules. Management must provide staff with written instructions regarding coronavirus. In addition, special health and safety rules issued in view of the coronavirus cases, must be adhered to.
Staff are required to wear masks and gloves and must make sure all users sanitise their hands before entering the gym.
Written regulations to all those using the gym informing them of coronavirus symptoms, to avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with hands and to use gloves or constantly clean their hands.
All areas must have adequate and where possible continuous natural or technical ventilation of air from the inside to outside. Special case must be taken in the exercise areas which must be frequently ventilated. Use of a/c should be governed by the rules of the Department of Labour Inspection.
Equipment must be at least two metres apart. If this is not possible every other piece of equipment must remain vacant. Alternatively, separations can be placed which can disinfected before and after use.
In equipment for aerobic exercise (eg ellipticals, treadmills, bicycles) there must a minimum two metre distance between rows. For equipment in the same row, every other one must remain vacant. Alternatively, separations can be placed which can disinfected before and after use.
Signage on the floor for distancing between clients and equipment.
Changing rooms and saunas will remain closed.
Use of lockers is permitted but they must be disinfected several times a day.
Bathrooms must have continuous ventilation.
Use of cash must be avoided.
Cards with individual programmes should be avoided (so as to avoid unnecessary contact with surfaces/objects).
It is recommended that people take their own water from home. Bars and water coolers are prohibited but drinks can be made available from vending machines subject to cleaning and disinfection.
There must be dustbins which operate without contact or with a foot pedal.
Pools are subject to the guidelines that have been issued,
Everyone must wash hands before entering.
In indoor gyms, group sessions are allowed with signs so as to comply with the 10 square metre per person rule and people should not move around.
The shared use of equipment should be avoided. Each person must bring and use their personal towel. Any personal items such as bags should not be placed in common use areas.
Equipment must be disinfected before and after each use.
Shared use of equipment — that is exercise in twos and alternate use of equipment without prior disinfection — is not allowed.
There must be a two metre distance between each person.
Use of personal exercise mat.
People belonging to high risk groups should avoid exercising in an indoor area during the current phase of the epidemic.
Written instructions on cleaning and disinfection for cleaning staff and a schedule for all the work. Special emphasis on floors, sanitary facilities, surfaces and equipment.