The Jakarta Post
Health clubs have cautiously restarted operations to keep themselves up and running.
Despite another period of social restrictions that will be imposed until Nov. 8 in Jakarta, gyms have reopened their doors to health enthusiasts.
“It is possible for the Jakarta administration to reimpose stricter restrictions [within the next two weeks] if we face a high transmission rate [of COVID-19], meaning that all sectors that had been reopened would be closed again,” Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said in a statement on Sunday.
Fitness centers were among businesses given permission to reopen when Anies decided to ease social restrictions two weeks ago.
Jakarta had reimposed stricter restrictions a month earlier due to rising COVID-19 cases.
Among the requirements, gyms are only allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity, must keep a minimum distance of 2 meters between guests and must not hold group training sessions in closed off rooms.
Gyms are also required to set strict standard operating procedures in common areas to ensure safety. Employees stationed in air conditioned facilities must wear face masks, face shields and gloves.
Operating hours are limited to between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
In August, gyms were allowed to open as the capital applied looser restrictions. At that time, fitness center chain Celebrity Fitness at FX Sudirman mall in Central Jakarta, for example, was open exclusively to members, who were required to register 46 hours prior to their sessions.
Visiting members were also required to wear face masks throughout their workout sessions and wipe down equipment after each use with disinfecting liquid.
“Therefore, high intensity activities like boxing and aerobics are currently unavailable because it is dangerous to wear masks while doing so,” general manager M. Egal said as quoted by kompas.id.
Jakarta remains the country’s COVID-19 epicenter with 100,991 cases, 86,721 recoveries and 2,164 fatalities.
Meanwhile in Riau, health clubs in the province’s capital of Pekanbaru have been facing slower business with average visits dropping 60 percent.
Dyna Shonata, an employee at Fit Beat Pekanbaru, said the drop in visits was between 50 to 60 percent from normal.
“When the number of COVID-19 cases was high, we had slower days,” she said as reported by antaranews.com on Saturday.
As of Sunday, Riau logged 13,547 cumulative cases with 9,654 recoveries and 303 deaths.
Dyna went on to say that it would be hard for fitness center to stay open just for profit, adding that a busy and packed gym would make it difficult for people to abide by health protocols.
“If someone contracted COVID-19, it is not just the business that would be affected but also our image. It is difficult to regain trust from the public,” she said.
Apart from checking temperatures, providing hand sanitizer and applying social distancing measures, Fit Beat cleans its gym equipment every three hours.
Employees and trainers are also required to wear face masks at all times. (nkn)
Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.