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Guidelines for gyms to open from August 5: 6 ft distance, face shield and more. Check Details

Gymnasiums and Yoga centres are all set to open from August 5 as per government’s relaxation norms in Unlock 3. But considering the coronavirus threat is still looming large over us, the government has issued some guidelines which must be followed by the gyms for the time being.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: August 03, 2020 16:38 IST
Guidelines for gyms to open from August 5: 6 ft distance, face shield and more. Check Details
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Guidelines for gyms to open from August 5: 6 ft distance, face shield and more. Check Details

Gymnasiums and Yoga centres are all set to open from August 5 as per government’s relaxation norms in Unlock 3. But considering the coronavirus threat is still looming large over us, the government has issued some guidelines which must be followed by the gyms for the time being. “To contain the spread of COVID infection, lockdown was imposed, which is now being gradually relaxed in a phased manner. Yoga and physical activity being important for health & well-being, it has been decided to open yoga institutes and gymnasiums from 5th August, 2020. Yoga Institutes and Gymnasiums shall adhere to protocols and prevention measures outlined in this document to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the guidelines read.

The fresh guidelines issued by the government outlines various generic precautionary measures to be adopted in addition to specific measures to be taken at yoga institutes and gymnasiums to prevent spread of COVID-19. The guidelines aim to minimize all possible physical contacts between staff, members & visitors and maintain social distancing and other preventive and safety measures in context of COVID-19.

Preventive Measures

  • All yoga institutes and gymnasiums in containment zones shall remain closed for public. Only those outside containment zones will be allowed to open up.
  • All yoga institutes and gymnasiums shall comply with all health related guideline/SOP/notification issued by the Union/State Government from time to time.
  • Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are advised not to use gyms in closed spaces. Organizations managing the yoga institutes and gymnasiums shall advise all members, visitors & staff accordingly.

The generic preventive measures include simple public health measures that are to be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19. These measures need to be observed by all (members, visitors & staff) in these places at all times. These include:

  1. Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet as far as feasible.
  2. Use of face covers/masks is mandatory at all times with in the premises. However, during yoga exercise or exercising in gymnasiums, as far as possible only a visor may be used. Use of mask (in particular N-95 masks) during exercise may cause difficulty in breathing.
  3. Practice frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) can be practiced wherever feasible.
  4. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.
  5. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest to state and district helpline.
  6. Spitting should be strictly prohibited.
  7. Installation & use of Aarogya Setu App shall be advised to all.

Before opening the Gyms, Yoga Institutes

  • Plan yoga/gymnasiums floor area based on 4m2 per person.
  • Place equipments, including cardio and strength machines, 6 feet apart, wherever feasible, by moving equipment to facilitate social distancing
  • Where available, utilize any outdoor space by relocating equipment outside.
  • Create specific pathways for entering and exiting exercise areas within closed spaces using floor or wall markings
  • Ensure queue management, inside and outside the premises, with specific markings on the floor with a gap of 6 feet.
  • Promote card based/contactless payment.
  • For air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which emphasizes that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30o C, relative humidity should be in the range of 40- 70%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.
  • Limit the number of staff and members within the general gymnasium floor, specific workout areas and change rooms by: a. Restricting the number of members allowed in specified areas b. Implementing ‘fitness sessions’ for particular exercise areas with requirements for members to register (ideally online) for specific sessions
  • Lockers will remain in use, as long as social distancing is maintained.
  • Ensure dustbins and trash cans are covered at all times.
  • Spas, Sauna, Steam Bath and Swimming Pool (wherever applicable) shall remain closed.

Disinfection

All areas within the premises shall be disinfected using clinically approved disinfectants. The areas to be disinfected include but are not limited to

  • Entrances to premise, building, rooms
  • All open areas used by staff and visitors
  • Washrooms and toilets
  • Shoe baths (Members will be encouraged to carry separate workout shoes)
  • All other frequently touched surfaces (doorknobs, handles etc.)
  • Equipment in gymnasiums

After Opening Gyms, Yoga Centers

At Entry Point

  1. Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions.
  2. Only asymptomatic persons (including staff) be allowed in the premises.
  3. All persons to be allowed entry only if using face cover/masks.
  4. All members, visitors and staff may consider using Aarogya Setu application for risk identification at all times inside the yoga institute/gymnasiums
  5. Posters/standees on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently. Audio and Video clips to spread awareness on preventive measures for COVID-19 may be regularly played.
  6. Ensure minimum distance of 6 feet at all times in queues
  7. Proper crowd management in the parking lots, in corridors and in elevators – duly following social distancing norms shall be organized.
  8. Staggering of members/ visitors to be done, with separate timing slots, to allow for adequate physical distancing and disinfection of premises & equipment.
  9. In yoga institutes, shoes / footwear are to be preferably taken off outside the premises where yoga exercises are done. If needed they should be kept in separate slots for each individual / family by the persons themselves.
  10. Details of check-in and checkout times of members and visitors must be recorded (name, address and phone number)

Prior to exercising in the gymnasiums using equipment

  • Ensure that the equipment has been disinfected, particularly the frequently touched surfaces before each use
  • Sanitize middle finger with alcohol swab and check oxygen saturation using pulse oximeter. Those having oxygen saturation below 95% should not be allowed to exercise. Call central / state helpline / ambulance and refer such persons to the nearest health facility
  • Remove mask and wear visor as far as feasible while exercising.
  • Hand sanitizer stations must be provided near each gymnasium equipment
  • Ensure that members sanitize their hands before using gymnasium equipment

During yoga exercises / other exercise sessions 

  • Common exercise mats should be avoided and members should preferably bring their own exercise mats which they may take back with them.
  • In view of potential threat of spread of infection, as far as feasible recorded music/songs may be played and shouting/ laughter yoga exercise should not be allowed.
  • Stop the exercise if you feel difficulty in breathing. Check oxygen saturation level. Those having oxygen saturation below 95% should not be allowed to continue exercise. Call central / state helpline / ambulance and refer such persons to the nearest health facility.

After exercise and in common areas

  1. Ensure proper disposal of face covers / masks / used towels in covered bins.
  2. The shower areas / washrooms should be sanitized before and after use.
  3. Cafeteria facility, if any within the premises, shall follow social distancing norms at all times.
  4. Cleaning and disinfection of gymnasium equipment, particularly frequently touched surfaces (hand rails, benches, fixtures, etc.) shall be done after each exercise session before it is used by the next member.
  5. The floor cleaning shall be taken up between exercise sessions.

At the time of closure

  • Shower rooms and lockers/changing areas need to be properly sanitized.
  • Deep cleaning of all washrooms shall be ensured
  • Before closure, the entire premises will be disinfected

Additional precautions to be followed in case of a suspect case in the premises

  • Place the ill person in a room or area where they are isolated from others.
  • Provide a mask/face cover till such time he/she is examined by a doctor.
  • Immediately inform the nearest medical facility (hospital/clinic) or call the state or district helpline.
  • A risk assessment will be undertaken by the designated public health authority (district Rapid Response Team /treating physician) and accordingly further action be initiated regarding management of case, his/her contacts and need for disinfection.
  • Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found positive.

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