Some B.C. gyms could open doors this month
Dr. Bonnie Henry said last week fitness facilities likely wouldn't be part of next phase of recovery
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is clarifying when gyms and fitness facilities in B.C. could reopen, after saying last week they likely wouldn't be part of Phase 2, beginning after the May long weekend.
Henry now says in two of the five health regions, fitness businesses will be able to start serving customers as part of Phase 2 of the province's COVID-19 recovery plan, if they meet the criteria.
There was never a province-wide order to shut down gyms, but some regions did issue orders until the end of May.
Fraser Health, Interior Health and Island Health all have orders in place, but gyms in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Northern Health regions that voluntarily closed can begin making preparations to reopen, said Henry on Monday.
"People who own gyms and fitness centres can start their process — and they should be doing that already to meet the requirements — and those who can, can look at starting to open starting after the coming long weekend," she said.
But Henry said even smaller facilities need to have proper plans in place and consider the business model to ensure they can keep people adequately separated in time and space.
Henry said many have looked at a combination of virtual, outdoor, and small in-person groups at the studios.
She expressed particular caution in the case of gyms, as they've been involved in cases of infection that have occurred in the community.
"These are facilities [where] we have seen transmission of this virus," she said, repeating her comments from the week earlier.
Last week Premier John Horgan announced the phased plan to restart the economy and normal activity in the province. He said the first phase is already happening, but Phase 2, which will include the opening of some provincial parks for day use and the ability of people to make small expansions in their social interactions, will begin mid-month.