Gyms in GCQ areas allowed to reopen, but no group workouts

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 29) — Zumba sessions and other group workouts remain on hold even as gyms and fitness centers reopen in August in areas under general community quarantine.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez on Wednesday laid out this and other guidelines after the COVID-19 task force allowed the partial resumption of these sports and fitness facilities.

"Required na may gloves yung mga nagwo-workout. Ideally individual workout, bawal 'yung group workouts or yung mga Zumba sessions," he told CNN Philippines.

[Translation: Those working out will be required to wear gloves. Only individual workouts are allowed. Zumba sessions and other group workouts are prohibited.]

Gatherings of big groups, especially if held in a closed areas, are discouraged amid the COVID-19 threat — especially since the coronavirus is spread through droplets.

Lopez added these facilities should have good air circulation, with exhaust systems.

The DTI and Department of Health are set to work out guidelines for gyms, sports facilities, and fitness centers.

These establishments are only allowed to reopen at 30 percent capacity starting August 1, but DTI eyes increasing that to 50 percent within three weeks.

Lopez said the government is aiming for a gradual restart of the economic engine amid the ongoing pandemic.

“The mindset of the government is the gradual reopening of the economy,” he said. “The purpose right now is to bring back the work. We are adding more sectors that will be gradually reopened in areas under modified general community quarantine.”

Meanwhile, with the recent passage at the Senate of the second version of Bayanihan Law, a P140-billion stimulus to aid the government in addressing the pandemic, Lopez said the measure will help create jobs in the new normal.

“You know it can create new jobs, because in the new normal, it has opened new business models that you know, more e-commerce, more delivery, and logistics,” said Lopez. “These sectors have grown and created new jobs. The business terrain has really changed.”