View of rows of dumbbells on a rack in a gym

Indoor Sport Facilities To Open From May 17th Under Hygiene Restrictions

According to the Czech Chamber of Fitness (ČKF), the government will allow indoor sport facilities to open from May 17th, under a special regime of hygiene restrictions. Only 10 people will be allowed in indoor spaces, no more than one per 15 square meters. Swimming pools, spas, saunas, and salt caves will remain closed to the public. Photo Credit: Freepik / Illustrative Photo.

Czech Rep., May 12 (BD) – The decision to reopen indoor sport facilities follows from the further loosening of anti-coronavirus measures approved on Monday. From May 17th, gyms, dance studios, and fitness centers can open to the public, with safety measures in place.

No more than 10 people should be permitted in one indoor area, and a maximum of two people can train together in a group. A limit of one visitor per 15 square meters will also apply, and visitors must observe mandatory distancing of at least two meters in indoor spaces unless they are from the same household. 

To enter the facility, visitors must present a negative test – from within the last seven days for PCR tests or 72 hours for antigen tests – a vaccination certificate, or proof of Covid-19 infection in the last 90 days. It will not be possible to use showers or changing rooms in fitness centers and gyms.

Jana Havrdová, president of the Czech Chamber of Fitness (ČKF), said this is the “first light at the end of the tunnel”. She endorsed the conditions of capacity per square meter and minimum distances, but called for some adjustments to the conditions, such as an increase on the limit for groups for lessons such as yoga or pilates, where visitors have a fixed place and use their own equipment. At least, argued Havrdová, the size of the sports ground should be clarified: “In the case of large operations with an area of ​​several thousand square meters, this condition would make no logical sense, organizationally nor economically, and for many operators, it would mean not opening,” she added. The Chamber will also argue for changes to the ban on using changing rooms and showers. 

According to ČKF, the government should also allow the operation of private wellness facilities. “These are spaces defined as a strictly closed and separate space, such as saunas or baths, with a maximum capacity of two to four people from one family or one social bubble,” said Havrdová. 

ČKF estimates losses for indoor sport facilities, swimming pools, and saunas at more than CZK five billion. Of the 3,000 to 4,000 companies and tens of thousands of self-employed people in the sector, up to 25% of them may close down due to the disruption to their business.

Havrdová wants the details to be fine-tuned before Thursday’s government meeting. However, at a press conference on Monday, Health Minister Petr Arenberger said that the loosening of the measures from May 17th will not change, so the government may not meet on Thursday.

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