There’s no doubt about it; one of the hardest-hit industries in the nation during the pandemic were gyms. Because of the close contact and commonly touched equipment, these were amongst the first places to shut down and today are one of the last ones to be allowed to open fully. But now that restrictions are easing across the nation, is it really legally safe to reopen a gym? Read on to learn about important information regarding this topic and what you should keep in mind if you are allowed to open fully.
Understanding Your State & Local Restrictions
As stated above, almost every state in the nation ordered all non-essential businesses to close down during the height of the pandemic. In every instance, it was the governors of those states that ordered the closure. Fortunately, because of the rollout of the various vaccines as well as the decrease in daily cases, state governors have allowed most businesses to open fully, including gyms and other fitness facilities. However, what the state says is not the only thing you should pay attention to. Many cities (particularly larger cities) have placed some restrictions on businesses contrary to what their state government says. For example, some local governments have imposed curfews on how late a business can open. Thus it is important to research what your state and local governments are allowing you to do before opening your gym.
Although CDC recommendations are just that, a recommendation, some city and state governments are asking gyms to follow them as much as possible in order to make the facility as safe as possible for people. In many areas of the country, failure to do so can lead to a fine or temporary re-closure of the gym. Some of those recommendations/rules include asking members to practice social distancing, mandatory cleaning of equipment every few hours, mandatory masks, and checking members/employee temperatures at the door. This is often the only restriction gyms are facing in terms of being allowed to legally open their doors. Still, both gym owners and members should research their particular locations before going any further.
Understanding the Process
In many states and local governments, it is not the restrictions that are a concern for gym owners but rather the process. This is because some state and local governments are opting-in for a step-by-step process of reopening rather than a restriction-based process. This means that you will need to ensure that you are paying attention to how the process is unfolding and your actions regarding how well you are keeping up with them. It is only then that gym owners may feel confident fully opening the legal way.
If you’re a gym owner or member, it is understandable to be unsure of just how legal it is to fully open a business where people are so close to each other and where items are constantly being touched. Thus it is highly recommended to utilize the information listed above as well as to conduct further research into your particular location.