DTI chief urges gymnasiums to create more outdoor activities
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has urged gym operators to create outdoor activities to allow greater operating capacity under the Alert Level System (ALS).
Commerce Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a briefing on Monday that it was now essential to reopen limited-capacity gyms to boost health and boost immunity against Covid-19.
“As much as possible, mag-develop kayo ng outdoor activity no pain-exercise n / A gym [As much as possible, you should develop outdoor activity for exercises],” he said.
Outdoor exercises are allowed at 100% of their capacity for all alert levels except alert 5.
Under Alert 4 in the National Capital Region, indoor sports, fields or venues, fitness studies, gymnasiums, swimming pools and other indoor recreational centers or facilities are not permitted. However, those who perform a bubble type configuration in accordance with the relevant guidelines are permitted.
The same installations are also not allowed under Alert 5. Operational capacity is limited to 30% and 50% for Alert 3 and Alert 2, respectively. Full capacity is permitted under Alert 1.
Earlier, Lopez said the Covid-19 Interagency Task Force for Managing Emerging Infectious Diseases is studying the inclusion of gyms as a critical sector to enable more mobility in said industry.
The DTI chief said if discussion on the issue is concluded by September 30 – the last day of the ALS pilot testing in the NCR – the new guidelines for reopening gyms could be released by September 30. October 1st.
Lopez proposed that a 20% indoor capacity for fully immunized customers be allowed for gyms during Alert 4.
This should be complemented by minimum public health standards such as a ban on removing masks and physical distancing at all times, in addition to improving ventilation and installing air purifiers.
“Things like these can also be done para lang mapping safe ang lugar na yun. Kaya, naniniwala kaming can solusyon naman pagdating her interior [We can do things like these to keep the vicinity safe. We believe there is solution to allow indoor capacity]”said Lopez.
“So we have to manage how to operate very safely and save small businesses and jobs,” he added.
For now, Lopez has said no changes to the guidelines will be implemented during the pilot test.