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Are gyms open? What rules or safety guidance must they follow?

Last Updated: 09/08/2020

All gyms and fitness centers may reopen indoor and outdoor spaces so long as they follow required social distancing and other safety protocols. This also applies to health club facilities located in hotels, motels, condominiums, cooperatives, and corporate offices.

What To Expect in Outdoor Spaces of Gyms

The following summarizes some of the protocols contained in Executive Order No. 157. However, this summary is not a replacement for fully complying with the terms of Executive Order No. 157 and businesses should read the full guidance carefully to ensure full compliance.

Gyms and fitness centers must institute the following policies:

  • Limit total capacity of any outdoor area to a number that ensures that all individuals can remain six feet apart
  • Require workers and customers to wear face coverings while indoors and in outdoor areas when social distancing is difficult to maintain, except where doing so would inhibit that individual's health
  • If a customer refuses to wear a face covering for non-medical reasons, then the business must decline the individual entry into the indoor premises
  • Limit occupancy in restrooms that remain open to avoid over-crowding and maintain social distancing through signage and, where practicable, the utilization of attendants to monitor capacity
  • Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas
  • Limit the use of equipment rented or otherwise to one person at a time, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners, and sanitize such equipment before and after use
  • Require reservations, cancellations and prepayments be made via electronic or telephone reservation systems to limit physical interactions

What to Expect in Indoor Spaces of Gyms

The following summarizes some of the protocols contained in Executive Order No. 181 and the Department of Health's guidance for health clubs/gyms/fitness centers. However, this summary is not a replacement for fully complying with the terms of Executive Order No. 181 and the Department of Health's guidance for health clubs/gyms/fitness centers, and businesses should read the full guidance carefully to ensure full compliance.

Gyms and fitness centers must institute the following policies:

  • Limit occupancy of any indoor premises to 25 percent of the stated maximum capacity, if applicable, at one time, excluding staff.
  • In addition to capacity restrictions, indoor group activities (e.g., classes) can occur but must limit to no more 1 individual per 200 square feet of accessible space or less, AND all individuals must be able to maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance from other individuals during the entire class.
  • Conduct a temperature screening and questionnaire of staff and clients upon entrance to the facility.
  • If individuals attending outdoor classes enter the center premises, whether to use a restroom or otherwise, they must be included in the capacity limit indicated above.
  • Require workers and customers to wear face coverings while in the indoor portion of the premises, except where doing so would inhibit that individual's health or where the individual is under two years of age.
  • If a customer refuses to wear a face covering for non-medical reasons and if such covering cannot be provided to the individual by the business at the point of entry, then the business must decline the individual entry into the indoor premises.
  • One-on-one personal training can occur assuming 6 feet of distance can be maintained for the majority of the training session.
  • Individual or pair activities which do not involve contact (e.g., racket ball, handball) can also occur.
  • Keep doors and windows open where possible and utilize fans to improve ventilation.
  • Inspect and evaluate the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit to ensure that the system is operating within its design specifications
  • Limit locker room use to hand washing and restroom use
  • In gyms with pools, limit shower use to individually partitioned showers or communal showers with installed barriers/partitions; in other gyms, showers are not permitted
  • Shared saunas and steam rooms are not permitted.

Guidance For Employees

Gyms and fitness centers must implement safety policies for employees that include, but are not limited to:

  • Require employees with symptoms of COVID-19 be sent home
  • Require all employees to wear face coverings while indoors, except where doing so would inhibit the individual's health
  • Require workers to wear gloves when in contact with customers or goods
  • Provide all employees with face coverings and gloves free of charge
  • Provide employees break time for repeated handwashing throughout the workday
  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to staff

For a full list of social distancing policies safety requirements, refer to sections 7,8, and 10 beginning on page 13 of Executive Order No. 157.

Source: Executive Order No. 157; Executive Order No. 163; Executive Order No. 181, Department of Health guidance for health clubs/gyms/fitness centers; Administrative Order 2020-21