Since the beginning of the quarantine most social and leisure activities have moved online, for example watching concerts or meeting up with friends has now taken place on the internet. Similarly, working out has been done virtually although since May 2, residents in Spain have had the opportunity to take to the streets to exercise.
WHEN it comes to sports installations or gymnasiums, which according to sources are the preferred source of exercise for around 5.5 million people in Spain, they will be allowed to reopen their facilities after Phase 1 of the de-escalation plan begins.
For now, Phase 1 will allow these sports establishments to recommence individual sports activities with advanced bookings, no physical contact and closed changing rooms. Further on, in Phase 3, the gyms will be limited to 30 per cent capacity and changing rooms will remain closed.
Alberto García Chápuli, the manager of the National Federation of Sports Facilities Entrepreneurs (FNEID) explains that the board of directors have approved some official measures to guide gyms across Spain in their journey of adapting to a post Covid-19 climate. He hopes this will “serve as a basis to establish some kind of order in which sports activities can be carried out in a safe manner.”
García highlights three general points to keep in mind: general hygiene, and especially hand hygiene; personal distance and the guarantee of being able to carry out physical exercise as a way to reinforce the immune system.
To ensure the safety distance is kept, they propose reducing the capacity in changing rooms and for collective classes. In addition, classes would have to be cut short in order to allow for cleaning and disinfecting the space and material used for the next class.
There should also be hand sanitising gels throughout the facility so that before and after machines are used, people may disinfect their hands.
However, according to the FNEID manager, what is most worrying for the sector are the limitations outlined in Phase 3: “You cannot open a facility to a third of its capacity and without the possibility of using changing rooms,” he highlights. “If you open it now, in two months you have to close. And you have to close due to bankruptcy.”
They consider their services in these centres as “essential” for the health of society, so their closure would directly harm the health of its users. He also notes that this situation could lead to over “200,000 jobs being destroyed.”