Gyms can reopen next week: Cuomo

Fitness centers had been excluded from reopening plans

New York /
Aug.August 17, 2020 01:28 PM
A photo illustration of Governor Andrew Cuomo (Cuomo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images; iStock)

A photo illustration of Governor Andrew Cuomo (Cuomo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images; iStock)

New Yorkers may be able to get a workout in starting next week, but only if their gym abides by some strict standards.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that gyms can reopen at 33 percent capacity as soon as Aug. 24, if they have an HVAC system that follows strict guidelines and the facility undergoes an inspection within two weeks.

Other retailers, including offices, stores and restaurants, have not had to abide by the same air filtration guidelines. Malls, however, do.

It will be mandatory for gym patrons and employees to wear a mask. Localities will be responsible for inspections and enforcement.

Gyms were previously excluded from phase four of opening, drawing criticism from their owners. Cuomo cited the risks of coronavirus transmission, given that people breathe heavily during exercise, potentially exhaling virus particles that do not readily disperse in indoor environments.

Thousands of New York gym owners planned to file a class-action lawsuit against the governor, citing their financial insecurity and lack of clarity surrounding lease decisions.

There were about 2,000 health clubs across New York in January, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, including 900 in New York City and 380 in Manhattan. Beyond that, an untold number of boutique studios are not captured by the trade group’s data.

Cuomo last week also laid out reopening guidelines for museums and bowling alleys.

Contact Sasha Jones at [email protected]


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