Physical activities

Low-intensity physical activities allowed to continue in indoor gyms and fitness studios amid tightened COVID-19 guidelines

SINGAPORE: Low-intensity physical activity will be allowed to continue in indoor gyms and fitness studios under more stringent COVID-19 guidelines, Sport Singapore (SportSG) said in an updated notice Friday, May 7.

Earlier this week, authorities announced that these indoor premises would have to close from Saturday to May 30 to curb further transmissions of COVID-19, as they had been identified as high-risk environments.

The list included indoor facilities such as gyms and fitness studios, including yoga and pilates studios, according to SportSG guidelines on Thursday.

In the updated guidelines on Friday, SportSG said that high-risk physical activities, sport and exercise environments that are indoors will now only be allowed to remain open if they offer “physical activities, low-intensity sports and exercises where all participants and instructors wear masks at all times “.

The premises listed in the guidelines updated Friday included indoor gyms, as well as fitness, dance, barre and spin studios.

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“Such indoor premises (and including any other type of indoor premises such as a hotel, club or condominium halls) must not be permitted to be used or rented out to others to be used for any purpose. high intensity sport and physical activity where participants are in close contact, exercising and not wearing masks for the stipulated period, ”SportSG said.

Facilities will also not be permitted to offer weight training, strength or resistance training in any form, nor to provide equipment for such training, as these are associated with strenuous activities.

In response to questions from CNA, SportSG said low-intensity activities are those that can be done with masks at any time and gave examples such as yoga, pilates, stretching exercises and tai chi.

Additionally, high intensity classes such as martial arts and combat sports can also proceed as usual.

Explaining the rationale, SportSG said: “These courses are usually run on a cohort basis – same class time, same participants, same location, etc. – and this usually limits risk exposure for the same cohort. “

However, the agency added that the providers of these courses will have to modify the activities according to the reinforced security management measures.

These include being masked at all times, minimizing contact “as much as possible” and not using common equipment such as punching pads and boxing rings.

Government agencies will conduct inspections, SportSG said. He added that enforcement action will be taken against companies or individuals who fail to comply with safe management measures.

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Culture, Community and Youth Minister Edwin Tong said in a Facebook post on Friday that the measures had been updated after discussions with business owners and industry professionals. sport and fitness over the past few days.

“As a result of these discussions, we will allow certain low-risk activities to continue under strict safe management measures during this period of heightened alert,” he said.

“This will ease the pressure for some, but I must stress that safe and strict management measures will have to be observed at all times,” he added.

Tong also said the government is working on financial support measures to help those who will have to remain closed, and will make an announcement shortly.

For a list of Sport Singapore indoor facilities and programs affected during this time, see https://www.myactivesg.com/Facilities/Sport-Centres/Facilities-Closure.

Refunds for affected bookings that fall under these dates will be processed within the next seven business days, SportSG said.

ENHANCED SECURE MANAGEMENT MEASURES

Participants, instructors and staff must adhere to a more stringent set of safety management measures.

People participating in low-intensity sport and physical activity permitted in a high-risk environment should wear a mask at all times.

If a participant removes their mask, the activity should cease immediately.

Participants should not share sports and exercise equipment, such as exercise machines, bars, free weights, stationary bikes, treadmills, or exercise mats where the risk of transmission is. raised.

Premises that remain open should not provide such equipment for use.

Facility owners or operators are responsible for ensuring that safe management measures are implemented and that their customers or users comply with them, SportSG said.

SportSG also said on Saturday that independent instructors are “strongly discouraged” from holding classes for up to five people at home, SportSG said.

In view of the intention to reduce the risk of further spread in the community during this time of heightened alert, “we strongly recommend that sports providers do not organize fitness classes for up to five people in residential premises. due to the high intensity and close contact nature of the activity, ”Said.

“We are seeking the cooperation of all sports providers to remain united and disciplined in our fight against COVID-19, and to ensure the safety of our loved ones and our community. “

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