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Covid-19 rule change: Low-intensity fitness activities allowed to continue at some indoor sports facilities

SINGAPORE — In a last-minute announcement before stricter Covid-19 rules kick in on Saturday (May 8), a government agency is now saying that indoor public and private gyms as well as fitness, exercise or dance studios will be allowed to open from May 8 to 30. This is provided that they only offer low-intensity physical activities where all participants and instructors wear face masks at all times.

Covid-19 rule change: Low-intensity fitness activities allowed to continue at some indoor sports facilities

Sports and fitness centres that open under tighter Covid-19 safety rules will not be allowed to offer weight, strength or resistance training of any form, or provide the equipment for such training.

  • Indoor sports facilities that only offer low-intensity physical activities will be allowed to open
  • Participants and instructors must wear face masks at all times and comply with other rules
  • The decision was made after talks with stakeholders in the sport and fitness industry, Mr Edwin Tong said
  • A few fitness centres are preparing to adjust to the revised rules

 

SINGAPORE — In a last-minute announcement before stricter Covid-19 rules kick in on Saturday (May 8), a government agency is now saying that indoor public and private gyms as well as fitness, exercise or dance studios will be allowed to open from May 8 to 30.

This is provided that they only offer low-intensity physical activities where all participants and instructors wear face masks at all times.

In an updated advisory on Friday, Sport Singapore (SportSG) said that the participants, instructors and staff members of these fitness and sports facilities will still have to adhere to a more stringent set of safety measures if they are to open.

They will not be allowed to offer weight, strength or resistance training of any form, or provide the equipment for such training, because “these are associated with strenuous exercise”. 

On Tuesday, the Government’s Covid-19 task force already announced that social gatherings will be limited to two a day from May 8, to clamp down on rising cases of coronavirus infections and clusters in the community.

All mass participation sports events will be suspended and no spectators will be allowed.

On Thursday, SportSG then gave more details to say that public and private gyms, fitness and exercise studios, including those operated by commercial enterprises, national sports associations, country clubs, golf clubs, private apartments, condominiums, as well as charities, are to be closed.

These premises have been identified as "high-risk sport and exercise environments" that are indoors, where participants are in close contact, exerting and not wearing masks, it said.

Sports or recreational facilities can admit just a maximum number of people according to its gross floor area based on 10 sqm per person and up to a maximum of 50 people.

"No facility, regardless of size, shall admit more than 50 persons,” SportSG said.

At the same time, large outdoor classes at public places such as parks and HDB common areas can continue if they have been approved.

Even then, the total class size must be reduced to 30 people, including participants, the registered instructor and any assistants, and is also subject to the venue capacity limit.

Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, said on Friday that the latest concession to allow low-risk activities to continue comes after discussions were made with business owners and professionals in the sport and fitness industry.

These include the Singapore Fitness Alliance, National Instructors and Coaches Association, FitnessSG, and Nominated Member of Parliament Mark Chay.

Mr Tong wrote on his Facebook page that the tighter rules to close indoor sport facilities have been challenging for those affected by closures and restrictions.

“These have affected their livelihoods. I know many are worried about the continuing accrual of overheads, while they have to remain closed for business,” he said.

He added that the revised rules will ease the pressure for some but warned that “strict safe management measures will have to be adhered to at all times”.

“In addition, for those who will have to remain closed, we are working on financial support measures to help (them). These will be built on top of the existing measures that sports industry operators currently already have access to.”

A few fitness centres were initially upbeat when they learnt of the updated advisory.

The Kai Muay Thai SG boxing gym, for example, said that it would resume its full operations from Sunday and follow the “stricter safe management measures for sports and physical exercise”.

The gym said on Facebook that each of its sessions will be limited to 12 people.

In an update on Saturday, however, it said that it would be "stopping operation till further notice" in line with the latest changes. 

The Fitness and Martial Arts training centre at Clarke Quay said that it would open next Monday, to give it time to prepare for the latest guidelines and regulations over the weekend.

But, on Saturday, it wrote on Facebook that "unfortunately, things have taken a turn". TODAY has asked the centre for more information. 

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Sports Covid-19 coronavirus SportSG safe distancing exercise gym

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