UNLOCK 3.0: Gyms, Yoga centres to reopen with social distancing, use of masks


New Delhi, (UNI) Wearing of face masks and social distancing will be mandatory in gyms and yoga institutes, which are scheduled to reopen in Unlock 3.0 from August 5.

In a detailed set of guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) for gymnasiums and yoga institutes as part of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, the yoga and workout sessions have been restricted to only such activities that do not require trainers to touch members and not more than 10 persons per 1,000 sq feet space.

Yoga institutes and gyms, which are being allowed to resume activities after a prolonged lockdown, will have to "minimise all possible physical contacts between staff, members and visitors and maintain social distancing and other preventive and safety measures in context of Covid-19."

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," the guidelines note.

Gyms and yoga institutes must ensure a minimum distance of six feet between individuals and plan floor area based on 4 metre square per person, utilise outdoor space preferably or offering online training classes wherever possible. Yoga kriya and group fitness activities to be avoided or to be conducted in open spaces.

Specific entry and exit pathways were to be created and air-conditioning temperature set between 24-30 degrees Celcius. Intake of fresh air was to be promoted wherever possible and a minimum of 15-30 minutes gap between batches during which time sanitisation and disinfecting measures were to be followed.

The ministry urged people above the age of 65, co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 not to use gyms in closed spaces.

It asked yoga institutes and gyms to adhere to protocols and prevention measures outlined in the guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19.