Hong Kong is reopening gyms – but is it safe to get back to your routine?

Hong Kong is reopening gyms – but is it safe to get back to your routine?
Source: Victor Freitas

On September 2, the Hong Kong Government announced that they are easing coronavirus restrictions on restaurants and reopening selected recreational facilities, including gyms. The decision came after Hong Kong health authorities recorded the lowest figures for daily new COVID-19 infections in almost two months. You may have been desperately wanting to get back to your gym routine, but is now a safe time to go?

Eased restrictions

Sophia Chan, Hong Kong’s secretary for food and health, announced on September 2 that the following recreational facilities will reopen with restrictions from September 4 onwards: gyms, clubhouses, massage parlors, amusement centers and certain sports facilities. However, swimming pools, karaoke rooms, bars and mahjong parlors would remain closed for the time being.

“After careful consideration, we have decided to slowly and gradually relax some of the current measures,” Chan stated at a press conference. “For those of the premises we have opened, it is largely sports premises because we gather many people would like to do some exercise and some sports in the midst of the epidemic … doing some exercise would bring about physical as well as mental health [benefits].”

The restrictions imposed on fitness centers limit classes and studios to a maximum capacity of four people, and a 1.5-meter distance between each person using the gym will be compulsory. Everyone will also be required to wear masks at all times (including while exercising).

Resuming a workout routine

Many people in Hong Kong have had difficulty maintaining their workout routines since March, when gyms were first instructed to close. And now, with the exciting news of gyms reopening, many Hong Kongers have readily resumed their healthy habits. However, with new COVID-19 carriers being discovered daily, it’s still recommended that you heed with caution.

The number of daily infections has been on the decline since July 30, when Hong Kong recorded a peak of 149 cases of COVID-19. However, the sudden opening of all gyms and the inevitable influx of gym-goers could potentially result in a new wave of COVID-19 cases.

For those who are desperate to get back to their workout routines but don’t want to run the risk of going to the gym, there are many videos available online from qualified instructors offering free home workouts. These can be an excellent temporary solution until you can get back to the gym. If you are okay with wearing a mask while exercising, then also ensure you’ve taken all other safety precautions before heading to the gym.

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