Gyms, yoga institutes to reopen from August 5; guidelines released

Last updated on Aug 03, 2020, 07:10 pm
Gyms, yoga institutes to reopen from August 5; guidelines released

The Union Health Ministry on Monday released guidelines for the reopening of gymnasiums and yoga institutes. Under the 'Unlock 3.0' guidelines, the government has allowed the gyms and yoga institutes—that had remained closed since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown in March—to reopen from August 5. Barring containment zones, where these establishments will remain closed, here are the guidelines for gyms and yoga institutes.

General guidelines

General health guidelines to reduce risk of COVID-19

Individuals must maintain a distance of at least six feet. The use of face masks is mandatory. However, a visor may be used instead since face masks may cause difficulty breathing while exercising. Individuals must practice frequent hand washing (at least 40-60 seconds) even when the hands are not visibly dirty. Use hand-sanitizer wherever feasible for at least 20 seconds.

General guidelines

General health guidelines to reduce risk of COVID-19

Spitting is prohibited and individuals must strictly follow respiratory etiquettes (covering the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing using a handkerchief, tissue, or flexed elbow). Individuals must self-monitor their symptoms and the use of the Aarogya Setu app is advised. Vulnerable groups—persons above 65, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below 10—are advised against using gyms in closed spaces.

Guidelines

Only asymptomatic persons allowed; check-in/check-out details to be recorded

Only asymptomatic persons (including staff) are allowed in the premises Posters/standees on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently. Audio and video clips to spread awareness on preventive measures for COVID-19 may be regularly played. In yoga institutes, footwear should preferably be taken off before entering. Details of check-in and check-out times of members and visitors must be recorded (name, address, phone number).

Activities

Guidelines to follow during exercises, activities

Yogic kriya may be avoided, but it could be done in open spaces. Open spaces must be used wherever possible. Session timings must be staggered with a gap of 15-30 minutes in between. Online sessions should be offered wherever possible. There must be a six feet distance between the trainer and clients and activities involving physical contact should be avoided.

Information

Floors to be cleaned between exercise sessions

Remove mask and wear visor as far as feasible while exercising. Shower areas/washrooms should be sanitized before and after use. Floor cleaning shall be taken up between exercise sessions. Deep cleaning of all washrooms should be ensured. Before closure, the entire premises will be disinfected.

Activities

Guidelines to follow during exercises, activities

All equipment must be disinfected—particularly frequently touched surfaces—before each use. Hand sanitizers must be provided near equipments. Individuals must sanitize their hands before using the equipment. Shouting/laughter yoga exercise should not be allowed. Persons with below 95% oxygen saturation are not allowed to exercise. If there is difficulty breathing, stop exercising, and check oxygen saturation using pulse oximeters, which must be available on site.

For establishments

Before opening gyms/yoga institutes, these measures must be followed

Gyms/yoga institutes must be planned as 4 square meter per person and equipments must be placed six feet apart. Wherever available, outdoor space must be utilized. Specific pathways for exits/entrances and specific markings with six feet gaps should be used to ensure queue management. Card-based/contactless payment should be promoted. Air conditioning must be set to 24-30°C, maintaining 40-70% relative humidity with adequate cross ventilation.

Information

Guidelines for employees

Staffers residing in containment zones are not allowed to attend the facility. Housekeeping staff should be informed about waste disposal norms. Employees who fall under vulnerable groups should follow extra precautions and should preferably not be exposed to any frontline work.

For establishments

Spas, sauna, pools, steam baths to remain closed

The number of staff and members should be limited by restricting the number of members allowed in specific areas and implementing online registrations for 'fitness sessions'. Lockers can be used while ensuring social distancing. All dustbins must be covered. Spas, sauna, steam bath, and swimming pools will remain closed. All areas—including entrances, toilets, shoe baths, frequently touched surfaces, etc.—must be cleaned with disinfectant.

Information

Guidelines if there is a suspected cases in the premises

The nearest medical facility must be informed immediately. Till the time the person suspected to be infected is examined by a doctor, they must be provided a face mask/cover. The establishment must be disinfected if the person is found positive.

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