Health ministry SOP for gyms, yoga centres that open on August 5

Gyms, yoga centres in containment zones will remain closed, ministry advises management to split members into batches and avoid exercises that require physical contact

Gym authorities have been advised to use outdoor spaces as much as possible. Photo: iStock

With gymnasiums and yoga centres slated to open from August 5 as part of the Centre’s Unlock 3.0 process, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in an advisory has said that only those located outside COVID-19 containment zones will be allowed to operate.

Delineating the standard operating procedure (SOP) for gyms and yoga centres, the ministry advisory said that people above 65 and those with co-morbidities as well as pregnant women and children below 10 years are not advised to use gyms in closed spaces.

While it is mandatory for individuals to maintain a distance of 6 feet, they should use face covers or masks at all times inside the gym or yoga centre premises. A visor could be used during exercises as a mask may cause difficulty in breathing, the advisory said.

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The SOP also advises against the practice of yogic kriyas for the time being and if practised to be organised in open spaces. The number of staff and members should be restricted by allocating people in batches. Each batch should have a gap of 15-30 minutes to avoid overcrowding.

Gym and yoga centre authorities have been advised to utilise outdoor spaces where available and ensure that the sessions are tailored to include only exercises that do not require physical contact between the trainer and the clients including setup and use of equipment.

Spas, saunas, steam bath and swimming pools in these places, however, will remain closed.

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