South Africa’s biggest gyms won’t reopen on Tuesday

Virgin Active and Planet Fitness have indicated that they will not reopen their gyms on Tuesday (18 August), despite being allowed to do so for the first time in nearly five months.

As part of the country’s move to level 2 lockdown, fitness centres and gyms are allowed to open subject to a limitation of 50 persons or less.

In a media briefing on Monday, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma indicated that this limitation would only apply to ’50 people at a time’  and that gyms could have as many visitors as they want throughout the day, provided they follow this restriction.

Planet Fitness said that it was still preparing to open its gyms in line with the health and safety guidelines.

“Although we are not opening on Tuesday, the wait is almost over. Our teams are working around the clock to prepare the clubs to ensure that you are safe when you return. We will announce our opening date really soon,” it said in a message published on social media.

In a note to clients, Virgin Active said that it was required to submit its health and safety plans to the government for approval.

“In terms of the legislation released today, we are required to submit our detailed Covid-19 plans to Government for approval before we are allowed to open.

“Government informs us that this process will take five days, but we will let you know as soon as we have the green light to open. Government has imposed restrictions on the number of members in our club at a particular point in time.

“We will soon update you on all the details of reopening with this limit in mind, but rest assured we are optimizing our large estate to ensure you can get active as soon as possible.”

The group said that it would be adjusting debit orders to reflect the number of days in the month which we will be open and will reduce this for the seven days that it was closed in March.

Based on the current expected opening date, this should be at the beginning of September, it said.

Read: South Africa’s new level 2 lockdown restrictions – and what they mean for the economy

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South Africa’s biggest gyms won’t reopen on Tuesday