‘Better today than tomorrow’: fitness centres want to reopen
Monday, 10 May 2021
One day ahead of the Consultative Committee meeting, Belgian fitness centres repeated their desire to reopen sooner rather than later on Monday.
“We have been hoping to reopen for a long time: better today than tomorrow,” said Gert Van Reckem of Fitness.be, the sectoral federation of fitness centres, emphasising the importance of health. “People come to the gym to be healthier and more resistant.”
Currently, the fitness centres have been closed for six months.
After the initial lockdown in March 2020, they were allowed to reopen in early June, but with a limited number of visitors, closed changing rooms and disinfected equipment. At the end of October, however, they had to close again.
Since then, it has again been possible to train outdoors in groups of 10 or even 25 people with a sports club, without an audience, but with a coach or supervisor.
However, this is not a solution for many fitness centres, according to Fitness.be, as “you can do so many things indoors that are not possible outdoors.”
Indoors, “there are more group classes, more equipment and more atmosphere, think of spinning classes for example,” Van Reckem said.
On Sunday, Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke told VRT that he was particularly concerned about the ventilation of indoor fitness centres.
According to him, strict ventilation standards are necessary before a reopening could be possible. Fitness.be, however, pointed out that the sector already has a protocol, which has proven its safety from June to October.