“They can’t keep us closed forever”: Fitness studio owners sue Mayor de Blasio

Gyms began reopening last week, but studios haven’t gotten the greenlight

New York /
Sep.September 10, 2020 08:46 AM
Mayor Bill de Blasio (iStock; Getty)

Mayor Bill de Blasio (iStock; Getty)

The owners of New York fitness studios have sued Mayor Bill de Blasio over the city’s coronavirus closures, which continue to block them from doing business while gyms reopened last week.

Led by the Boutique Fitness Alliance and the New York Fitness Coalition — which collectively represent more than 2,000 gyms and studios — the group claims in its lawsuit that, “Studios in New York City continue to be randomly and arbitrarily shut down since March 16, 2020, with no opening date in sight,” according to the New York Post.

Gyms began reopening last week at reduced capacity. After Sep. 30, indoor dining in restaurants will also be allowed commence — with some big caveats.

It’s not the first lawsuit over reopening timelines. In June, gym owners in Long Island had planned a class-action lawsuit against Gov. Andrew Cuomo for excluding gyms from the state’s fourth phase of reopening. (Gyms were allowed to reopen in Long Island on Aug. 24.)

Restaurants in New York City filed a $2 billion suit in late August over the delay on indoor dining.

So far, the city has deemed fitness studios, which host group exercise classes, too risky to reopen. The lawsuit calls for clarification about how this assessment was made.

“We’d like to see the reasoning and data behind his decision,” Boutique Fitness Alliance founder Amanda Freeman told the Post.

She argued that studio owners could take precautions to hold classes safely, including implementing social-distancing rules, taking temperatures and requiring masks.

“They can’t keep us closed forever, she said. “It’s really unfair.” [NYP] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan


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