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New Delhi: The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Monday issued guidelines for reopening of gyms and yoga institutes, situated outside Covid-19 containment zones, that are allowed to reopen from Wednesday (5 August).

The facilities have been allowed to open as part of the government’s ‘Unlock 3‘ plan or the third phase of easing lockdown restrictions in the country, which had kicked in from Saturday (1 August).

Besides some generic precautionary measures to be followed, the guidelines also mention specific dos and don’ts.

Only those yoga and workout sessions are allowed that do not require trainers to touch members. Facilities must ensure a minimum distance of six-feet among individuals and floors should have space of four metres per person.

Sauna, steam bath, swimming pools and spas will not be operational until further orders. All other social distancing and preventive measures like hand hygiene, along with strict practice of “respiratory etiquette” and thermal screening at entrances are to be adhered by owners and members.

The guidelines also advise installation and use of the Aarogya Setu app by both owners and practitioners.

Also read: Gyms will have to work up more of a sweat to bring people back as Covid restrictions ease

Equipment should be kept six-feet apart

The guidelines also state that people above the age of 65, those with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 should not use gyms or yoga institutes in closed spaces.

While wearing of face covers has been made mandatory, people can use only a visor during exercising as masks may make breathing difficult.

Group fitness activities are to be avoided unless essential. If done, they may be conducted in open spaces and through online classes. Equipment should also be kept six-feet apart, including cardio and strength training machines.

Guidelines released by the Central Public Works Department’s on air-conditioning use are to be followed and cross ventilation should be adequate to allow intake of fresh air.

Specific entry and exit pathways are to be created and precautionary instructions on posters should be placed in closed spaces, states the health ministry’s guidelines. All fitness institutes have been asked to plan employee shifts to ensure social distancing.

Staff residing in containment zones are not allowed to attend the facility until the area is denotified.

Also read: There’s a price war to hire doctors & nurses in Mumbai’s Covid-hit satellite cities


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