Gyms, yoga centres reopen in Delhi, but not many visitors on day 1

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New Delhi, Jun 28 (PTI) Gyms and yoga centres in the national capital reopened on Monday after a three-month closure due to coronavirus, but not many turned up on day one with owners hoping it would take at least a month before things become normal.

These centres were shut to check the spread of coronavirus. The Delhi government Saturday allowed them to operate at 50 per cent capacity.

Gym-owners and instructors have devised plans including frequent sanitisation and slots allowing only up to 50 per cent of their establishment's capacity in accordance with the Covid guidelines.

The city government has also allowed weddings at banquet, marriage halls and hotels with 50 people in attendance under the phased unlock process initiated with an improvement in the city's COVID-19 situation.

Sunil Kumar Taank of Black's Gym said people were still apprehensive to come back, and added that it would take at least a month for the situation to get back to normal.

On Monday, his Jor Bagh facility had only had two visitors since morning, while the branches at Saket and Sangam Vihar witnessed not more than 15 people coming for a workout.

'A lot of them are apprehensive about a third wave. It's important to understand that staying fit improves immunity against the virus,' said Taank, who is also the president of Indian Gym's Welfare Association.

He has directed his staff to sanitise the gym and allow in visitors only after taking their temperature and oxygen level at the door.

'We are also ensuring face masks inside the gym.' While gym requires physical presence, yoga centres have been working online during the lockdown period.

Even though the Delhi government has allowed them to return to their yoga mats, not many preferred to come to the studio.

Ritu Malhotra of Aarogyam Yoga and Meditation Studio said that it would take some time before people come back for physical classes.

“Most of my students prefer online classes, but there are a few who want to come back. We haven't opened the studio today, but in a day or two we will be ready to receive some students,' Malhotra told PTI.

Apart from following the general Covid guidelines, Malhotra has asked her students to bring their own sanitised yoga mats.

Chirag Sethi, the vice president of Delhi Gym Association, said the fitness industry welcomed the opportunity to reopen while following the guidelines. Sethi, also the owner of Anytime Fitness in Malviya Nagar, said they were allowing gym members to come in about 16 slots of 50-60 people from 6 am till 9 pm.

'People are excited about coming back as they have realised it's important to be healthy to fight COVID-19,' Sethi told PTI.

Along with segregating groups of gym-goers, Sethi has also vaccinated his staff and directed them to sanitise all the equipment frequently.

'We are also giving discount offers for members who have been vaccinated. We have placed a bottle of sanitiser and a cloth next to each equipment so anyone who uses it can clean it,' he said PTI MAH TIR TIR

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