Social distancing measures are starting to be eased and the possibility of gyms being reopened is looming and not so far off as we once thought it would be.
When the UK lockdown first hit, there was speculation that gyms might stay shut until next year, but that now looks unlikely.
As has been the case with other public spaces, when they do allow customers to return, gyms will almost certainly be extremely different to before the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
Here, Built for Athletes explores what gyms might look like when they reopen.
Staff will have a responsibility to clean equipment and facilities at the end of each day. This is something we’ve seen in sports that have been able to start up again as well as in shops and supermarkets.
There will also likely be much more emphasis placed on wiping down equipment after use, and we can expect this to become a necessity rather than just good etiquette.
This would be a more extreme new measure but is one that can’t be ruled out if it could be used to get gyms opened again. The risk of transmission is elevated in an indoor space where people are touching the same surfaces, so we could see the use of temperature checks on entry - something that has been used by airlines - to ensure people with a fever are isolating.
It’s hugely unlikely that gyms will be allowed to work at capacity because it would be almost impossible to manage social distancing if they did. Limits will likely be put on the number of customers who can enter, meaning either a booking system or queues would have to be employed.
Machines Out Of Use
Machines may have to be put out of action in some cases so that people can maintain distance. For example, if a gym has a row of treadmills then it’s likely every other one will be out of use. Equipment in general may have to be more spread out.