Some of us have missed sitting in a restaurant, others have dreamt of getting a trim at the hairdressers, but for some people, the gym is what they’ve been missing most during lockdown.
While many gyms were hoping for a July reopening, the Prime Minister’s latest update today announced that public spaces such as cinemas, pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and hotels can reopen from 4 July, but gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools are to stay shut as they are still not quite considered ‘Covid secure’ just yet.
Despite this, gyms up and down the country are getting ahead by preparing for when they can reopen. Budget gym chain Puregym has released their plans for exactly what a visit to one of their gyms will look like when they can finally reopen. The plan includes:
- Limiting the amount of people who can enter the gym at one time.
- An app that shows you how busy your local gym is, so you can check beforehand and avoid queues.
- Contactless entry via an app or key fobs – no pin pads anymore.
- Hand sanitising stations at the entrance and around the gym.
- Thorough cleaning of kit and surfaces by staff throughout the day and deep cleaning routines every night.
- Gym-goers will be asked to wipe down equipment and machines before and after use, using the anti-viral cleaning wipes dispensed from newly-installed cleaning stations around the gym.
- Floor space will be marked with boxes to help gym-goers maintain social distancing while exercising.
- The gyms have been rearranged so that equipment is spaced further apart and people can freely and easily move around the gym while maintaining social distancing.
- Working out closely in groups or pairs and ‘spotting’ your friends will be prohibited to avoid large clusters of people forming.
London-based chain Gymbox has announced that gym time and classes may have to be pre-booked via an online booking system, they’ll be providing temperature checks at the door, all their gyms will be going fully cashless and entry will be contactless. They’ve also stated that they will go ‘above and beyond what the likely mandated rules will be’ in terms of cleaning and safety standards, saunas will be out of action and changing rooms and shower facilities will be reduced.
Meanwhile, some gyms around the world, such as Inspire South Bay Fitness in Redondo Beach, California, have been experimenting with individual pods made of plastic sheeting for people to work out in. While innovative, this doesn’t seem to be the way most gyms are heading in for a sustainable post-lockdown reopening plan.
Of course, all gyms will be setting out their own guidelines for how they will make their spaces as safe and clean as possible for their customers, but the plans set out by PureGym and Gymbox certainly provide a good indication of what a visit to most UK gyms could look like post-lockdown.