Chicago tightens restrictions on workout class sizes, even as gyms say members aren’t rushing back

Beatrice J. Doty

Gym-goers have been cautiously but steadily returning to health clubs and fitness studios in the 3 1/4 u00bd weeks since those businesses were allowed to let members back in for more than personal training.

But gym operators worry a new 10-person cap on the size of indoor fitness classes, which takes effect Friday, will hamper their efforts to rebuild business after the coronavirus pandemic forced them to close temporarily. More stringent rules for bars that also take effect Friday have prompted some to call it quits for good.

Some fitness clubs and studios were surprised by the more stringent regulations. They’ve already taken precautions like temperature checks and more aggressive cleaning, and in Chicago, members must wear masks during exercise in addition to practicing social distancing.

“We definitely didn’t think we’d be the subject of being pulled back given all the vigilant measures we’re taking,” said David Blitz, CEO of

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New Life For Gyms, Fitness Facilities Outdoors In East Hampton

Beatrice J. Doty

EAST HAMPTON, NY — Gym owners struggling during the coronavirus crisis in in East Hampton may soon get a much-needed boost from town officials.

Established East Hampton fitness and exercise studios, which have been financially affected by the shutdown during the pandemic, will see hope on the horizon with the adoption Friday of a temporary provision allowing them to hold outdoor exercise classes on a separate commercial property, with the property owner’s permission, a release from East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said.

The town code as written restricts the use of outdoor areas on commercial properties.

An executive order signed Friday by Van Scoyoc includes a measure that will temporarily relax a portion of the town code to allow fitness businesses to apply for a permit to hold offsite outdoor classes, provided social distancing, group size restrictions, and rules regarding face masks are followed.

The permit application can

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Arizona health deptartment orders gyms to close amid COVID spikes or face legal action

Beatrice J. Doty

The Arizona Department of Health Services ordered three of the state’s gyms to close immediately amid significant spikes in coronavirus or face legal action.

Two of the gyms — LifeTime Fitness, Tempe and LifeTime Fitness, Camelback — agreed to comply with the order while the third gym, Mountainside Fitness, Scottsdale Shea, refused, the agency said in a statement.

“ADHS has agreed to partner with LifeTime Fitness to develop examples of best practices for the fitness industry to provide technical assistance for other fitness professionals,” the statement read.

On Thursday, the department ordered the gyms to close immediately after they learned “certain fitness centers were not complying with Governor [Doug] Ducey’s Executive Order.”

The gyms had to respond by noon local time Friday regarding their compliance.

Department director Dr. Cara Christ said LifeTime’s agreement “is in the best interest of all Arizonans.”

Mountainside, on the other hand, “made it clear

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Boris Johnson warned opening pubs before gyms and swimming pools could be ‘catastrophic’ for health

Beatrice J. Doty

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, the 11-times Paralympic gold medallist, has personally written to Boris Johnson to tell him that public health risks being set back a generation and that much of the sports sector has “lost faith” in his government following the failure to reopen gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools.

In her letter to the Prime Minister, Grey-Thompson warned that thousands of facilities were at risk of closing permanently and said that there was shock at the decision to reopen pubs, hotels, cinemas and restaurants but not indoor health, fitness and sports facilities.

A public petition urging the government to allow gyms and leisure centres to reopen has also now reached almost 100,000 signatures, the level at which it would be considered for debate in parliament.

“The consequences of further delays and ambiguity are stark,” wrote Grey-Thompson. “Communities across the UK are now on notice at the potential loss

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