Gym owners in the vizag city are feeling the heat due to closure of their fitness centres due to Coronavirus induced lockdown. Gyms are not able to resume operations in the Unlock 2 phase, because central and state governments haven’t yet unveiled a date for that step, leaving the fitness industry without a clear plan. It only deepens the terrible impact on 16 gyms in the city. “We were led to believe we would be opening very soon, of course with some guidelines for social distancing when the government has given permission to almost every sector,” said Santosh, Gym owner in Sankarmatam road. “but the rug was pulled out from under us” he added.
Sampath, fitness freak of MVP colony said, the government’s illogical and inconsistent decision making regarding which business sectors are deemed ‘safe’ and which are ‘unsafe’ has proven itself to be farce going by the spike in Covid 19 cases.
Members of Visakha Gym Welfare Association met YSRCP MP V Sathyanarayana and sought his help for reopening of gyms along with financial schemes on the lines of other sectors for gym owners to mitigate their hardships. Forced to stay closed over the last few months, gyms have been doing what they can to continue engaging their clients through virtual services. “But unfortunately, I do not think it will be useful. “The cost of rents, the cost of equipment are real costs. The loss of revenue leaves lasting impact on us” Ravi Roy gym owner.
Like scores of restaurateurs in the city, many gym owners had been busy carefully laying out plans to resume limited operations in the near future. Some gyms owners said they were gearing up to unplug major pieces of equipment and move them farther apart to ensure safe social distancing. Government should find a way to reopen with modified operations like allowing shifts. “It’s funny. You can go get a Juicy Drinks, but you can’t work out at a health club,” Santosh said. “Symbolically, the message that health and wellness isn’t essential is a bad message for Visakhapatnam