New York gyms and fitness studios can reopen August 24

Posted On Mon, August 17, 2020 By

Posted On Mon, August 17, 2020 By In Policy

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

New York gyms and fitness studios can reopen next week at limited capacity and with face-covering mandates, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday. The state says gyms can open as early as August 24 at a capacity of 33 percent if all guidelines, including ventilation requirements, are met. Local governments will determine whether indoor fitness classes are allowed to be held. But gyms in New York City will likely not reopen next week despite state approval, as the city prioritizes getting schools ready for September.

“There’s no higher priority than making sure our schools and child care centers are safe for learning in the fall, and the City’s dedicated team of inspectors will continue prioritizing that work,” Mitch Schwartz, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, told the New York Post in an email on Monday.

The city will roll out a “fair and rigorous inspection” plan for gyms in the coming weeks. Officials also said the city has decided to not allow indoor fitness classes to resume and to keep indoor pools closed.

The decision to reopen gyms, which have been closed statewide since mid-March because of the coronavirus, comes as New York sees one of the lowest infection rates of the virus in the country. The infection rate has remained at 1 percent or under each day since June and under 1 percent for the last 10 consecutive days, according to officials.

While gyms can start reopening on August 24, the local government must open them by September 2. Cuomo also said it is up to the localities to inspect gyms before they open or at least two weeks within reopening.

Last week, Cuomo announced that cultural institutions, including museums and aquariums, can reopen in New York City on August 24, at 25 percent capacity. Timed-ticketing, face-covering requirements and other health protocols are required.

Bowling alleys opened statewide on Monday at 50 percent capacity, but no eating and drinking will be allowed in New York City, the only region not yet permitting indoor dining. There is still no state guidance on when movie theaters can reopen.

A number of NYC-based studios have reopened for outdoor classes, which have been permitted by officials. In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy last month gave yoga, pilates, and martial arts studios the green light to resume indoor classes at 25 percent capacity.

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Editor’s note 8/17/20: This post has been updated to include new information regarding the reopening of NYC gyms.

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