Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has said that gyms and fitness centres in the state will be allowed to restart operations after Dusshera but only if they strictly follow the Standard Operation Procedures (SOP). For the unversed, gyms have been in dormant mode since March ever since the nationwide lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to combat the spread of coronavirus. The Centre had allowed gyms and fitness centres to reopen across the country in the last phase of unlocking. However, Maharashtra didn’t allow gyms to reopen. Cinema halls, religious places, swimming pools which have been allowed to resume functioning elsewhere are still closed in Maharashtra.
Though gyms will be opened, activities like steam bath, sauna, Zumba and Yoga, which either involve group activities or water which can increase the possibility of infection, will remain suspended. Mr Thackeray said the state government was going slow on lifting COVID-19 restrictions because there should be no complacency. Safety measures such as disinfecting premises every hour, physical distancing, sanitisation and use of masks would be mandatory, the chief minister said, adding that health checks of trainers and employees should be done regularly. The state government had earlier allowed outdoor centres for exercise and gymnastics to function from August 5, following social-distancing and hygiene protocols. Earlier, the Maharashtra government has allowed weekly markets, monorails, metro rails, and business-to-business exhibitions to gradually start functioning. Also, Mumbai metro will start from October 19, while Monorail began operations from October 17. Since October 15, the number of Mumbai locals has been increased from October 15 and women passengers were allowed to travel on these locals.