What Manitoba’s next phase of reopening could mean for gyms and fitness centres

WINNIPEG — Group fitness classes may soon be able to start back up in Manitoba, after the province announced its proposed changes for the next phase of reopening on Thursday.

Manitoba’s current round of health orders are set to expire on March 5. When they do, the province is proposing some changes that may allow indoor recreation and sporting facilities – including gyms, fitness centres, rinks, courts, fields, ranges, studios, clubs, pools and centres – to reopen at 25 per cent capacity for individual use, group instruction and practices only.

Outdoor non-organized sports and recreation activities could see a limit of 10 people.

“We still want to respect the fundamentals,” Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer said on Thursday.

“We want people to benefit from these activities. We don’t want a bunch of people crowded in the stands. So we’re going to have to be really cautious on how we manage that.”

The province is proposing changes that would allow gyms and fitness centres to hold group classes at 25 per cent capacity per class with physical distancing measures in place.

Currently fitness centres, gyms and yoga studios are restricted to providing one-on-one classes only.

Another proposed change would allow those taking part in physical activities in gyms, fitness centres and pools to not wear a mask, though masks would still be required in other areas of the facility.

Roussin said this latest phase of the proposed reopening is the largest Manitoba has done yet – and it does come with some risk.

“We’re weighing the benefit to that – the benefit to having businesses open, the benefit for people with physical activity. None of these are without risk,” Roussin said.

“There’s going to be strict enforcement of these things because it is risky.”

Manitobans can provide their input on the proposed health orders by visiting EngageMB

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