THE QUARANTINE names may have changed, but for the fitness industry, the plea remains the same.
A day after the Palace formalized a new four-level alert system to implement more localized lockdowns (which will take effect today, September 16), a consortium of fitness gyms once again released a statement protesting the industry’s continued closures in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
“The Philippine Fitness Alliance is disappointed with the latest quarantine classifications for Metro Manila prohibiting closed crowded and close contact (3CS) industries, including gyms and fitness centers from resuming operations under Alert Level 4,” the organization said.
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Metro Manila is currently in Alert Level 4. According to the IATF guidelines, gyms and establishments like libraries, indoor sports studios, museums, cinemas, theaters, bars, theme parks, internet cafes, arcades remain prohibited in the metro.
The PFA, formed just this year, counts Anytime Fitness, Celebrity Fitness, Fitness First, Gold’s Gym, Slimmer’s World, and UFC Gym among its members.
A year and a half of closures and brief reopenings, the alliance said, has had a “devastating impact” on their members’ businesses.
Echoing their plea to the government from last June, the organization once again bannered their “vigilance” in implementing the government’s health protocols inside the facilities, including social distancing, the wearing of face masks, and limiting overall capacity.
“This vigilance has resulted in zero on-site transmissions within gyms and fitness centers to date,” the PFA said.
It continued: “Despite all these efforts, gyms have unfortunately been perceived as a high-risk environment for COVID-19 spread.”
Fitness Alliance underscores research on gym industry
The PFA has protested the industry’s continued closure by writing, “There is an abundance of research from around [the] world showing the critical need for physical activity in improving an individual’s well-being, physical and mental health, and decreasing the risk of developing non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and stroke.”
It added: “Research released by the World Economic Forum also shows that regular physical activity is essential for boosting the effectiveness of one’s COVID-19 vaccine.”
The gyms also trumpeted the vaccination rates of their employees, as well as the fact that all of their fitness chains have the Department of Trade and Industry’s fitness seal.
“Approximately 95 percent for our staff have been fully vaccinated and are on track to reach 100 percent in the coming month, subject to further updates from the LGU’s vaccine deployment schedule,” it said in its statement.Internet Explorer Channel Network