GOOD news for all fitness buffs: gyms will now be allowed to open their doors if their locale is under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
In a Malacañang briefing on Tuesday, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Mon Lopez announced that sectors under the IATF’s Category 4 industries may reopen, but only at 50% capacity.
“So example po rito ay iyong mga gyms and fitness studios and sports facilities. Under Modified GCQ, outdoor and indoor sports facilities will now be allowed to operate,” announced Lopez.
He added: “So ibig sabihin po, iyong mga sports activities na indoor, as long as non-contact, ay papayagan na po at ia-allow na po ngayon pong under MGCQ doon po sa mga over 60 provinces and cities na under Modified GCQ.”
Take note that this reopening is only allowed in areas under MGCQ, which has less restrictions than a regular GCQ.
According to GMA News, “Metro Manila, Pangasinan, Region II, Region III, Region IV-A, Region VII, Cebu City, Mandaue City, Zamboanga City, and Davao City have transitioned to general community quarantine (GCQ) beginning June 1 until 15, while the rest of the country is now under an MGCQ.”
This announcement follows months of uncertainty for the fitness industry, which has been dealing with financial pressures as gyms were ordered closed by the quarantine protocols.
Unlike other businesses that were deemed more essential, they still had to remain closed even as the lockdown eased across the nation.
In a previous interview with SPIN Life, Mark Ellis, country manager of Evolution Wellness Philippines (which runs both Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness), said: “Our business model is built on monthly membership dues as a source of revenue. Since the ECQ was imposed, we have not been billing our members and have therefore not been able to generate any income since March.”
Gyms and gym representatives have told SPIN Life about how they will implement sanitation and social distancing protocols as soon as they are allowed to reopen. “We’d provide more safety measures than you’d see in many grocery stores and other businesses today,” promised Gab Pangalangan of UFC Gym.
As gyms move to reopen under the DTI’s new announcement, it remains to be seen how they will implement these policies in the “new normal.”
Other than gyms, fitness studios, and sports facilities, Category 4 industries include:
- entertainment industries like cinemas, theaters and karaoke bars
- kid amusement industries, libraries, archives, museums, and cultural centers
- tourist destinations like water parks, resorts and beaches
- travel agencies, tour operators, reservation service and related activities
- personal care services like massage parlors, sauna, facial care and waxing