Gym and fitness centres reopening greeted with relief by industry

Photo credit: Anastase Marago/Unsplash

A gym in Chemainus never closed its doors during the most recent public health order targeting gyms and fitness centres, welcoming clients as recently as this morning.

After two years of yo-yo openings and closing, a small number of gyms in Victoria also defied public health orders and kept their doors open during this latest round of restrictions.

Sara Hodson, president of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada, said she’s relieved that changes are coming this week.

“The fitness industry is obviously relieved. And we are very excited to get back to business, to get back to fitness.”

On December 22, with Omicron ripping through the province, and threatening to overwhelm the healthcare system, public health orders shut down gyms, and fitness centres.

Hodson said it was a very difficult time for the industry.

“As much as we were a bit blindsided and surprised by the closures just before Christmas, we were engaged with public health almost immediately.”

READ MORE: B.C. reopens gyms and exercises facilities, extends restrictions on gatherings and events

It may be the beginning of the end of restrictions.

Dr. David Forrest, specializes in infectious diseases at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

“It’s quite clear that this virus is spreading, essentially, unchecked. And as a consequence, all of us are going to come into contact with it at some point.”

That means enhanced safety procedures going into long-term care facilities.

But at some point, Dr. Forrest said people who are vaccinated, can eventually get back to something of a normal life.

“I think that the measures that she’s suggesting are based on the principle there to protect vulnerable people. But also to recognize that those that are vaccinated, generally speaking, younger, are not vulnerable, have the opportunity to have more freedom.”

Gyms won’t be wide open as there will be restrictions on capacity limits and masks will be required.

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Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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