SINGAPORE – Gyms and gyms are taking extra precautions here ahead of the second phase of Singapore’s economy reopening on Monday June 21st.
The industry was hit hard during the tightened measures for phase two (heightened alert) from May 16 to June 13, as many of the physical activities it offered were restricted.
While indoor mask-off activities are allowed to resume, albeit with safe distancing measures, some places like Barre 2 Barre on Pickering Street are sticking to their current practices.
The co-founder, Ms. Jessica Anwar, 33, said she would ask her students and teachers to continue wearing masks at all times. Her studio is expected to be 25 percent busy and has canceled more intense classes like Bounce, where students jump on a trampoline.
She said, “In our Hong Kong studio, they taught jumping with masks and it was harder to breathe.
“We are taking this feedback and have decided to completely cancel bounce courses. For the time being, we will only focus on barre, stretch and Pilates courses.”
As part of the reopening, the Department of Health (MOH) set new restrictions on gyms on Friday, including reduced group and class sizes and a routine 14-day Fast and Easy Tests (FET) program for staff.
In order to meet the new group size of two instead of the previous limit of five, gyms like Elevate the Barbell Club on MacPherson Road have introduced a booking system in which trainers reserve slots for their own customers.
Co-founder Twain Teo, 33, said, “This allows us to have very close control of the flow and ensure there are no double bookings or situations that violate our policy for two customers.”
Public facilities such as ActiveSG gyms and the Singapore Sports Hub will also reopen their programs at the Water Sports Center, OCBC Arena and Sports Hub Fitness Studio on Monday.
The OCBC Aquatic Center won’t reopen until June 28th as it will host the Singapore National Swimming Championships from June 22nd to 27th.
Gyms have also upgraded their cleaning programs to ensure that their facilities are safe.
Anytime Fitness Nex staff are preparing to reopen by disinfecting the fitness equipment. PHOTOS: Courtesy of ANYTIME FITNESS NEX
Ms. Teri Ong, who runs Anytime Fitness Clubs in Northpoint City, Nex, and HillV2, said their outlets “do a complete and thorough disinfection of the entire club, including equipment cleaning, disinfection of all touch points, and high-rise cleaning and deep cleaning, carpet shampooing” .
Ms. Ong, 52, added that the three clubs have developed a proprietary tracking app to show a live count of gym users. The gyms also run manual headcounts every hour to ensure that the number is correct.
Despite the uncertainty and upheaval caused by the pandemic, gym operators are cautiously optimistic and look forward to business resumption.
Shaun Pang, owner of Hygieia Strength & Conditioning, is preparing his gym to reopen. PHOTO: WITH FRIENDLY HYGIEIA STRENGTH & CONDITIONING
Mr. Shaun Pang, 36, owner of Hygieia Strength & Conditioning on Haig Road, said “85 percent” of his clients returned to training within two weeks of the Phase 2 reopening last June and he expects similar numbers this time around.
He said, “It’s been six tough weeks for all of us in the fitness industry. Our customers are excited to start exercising again and I am confident that more customers will return to us in the coming weeks.”