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toronto gyms reopening

Here are the rules for Toronto gyms according to Ontario's new reopening plan

It's been a long 25 days without gyms, movie theatres, indoor dining and more in Toronto since Premier Doug Ford and his team plunged the city back into a modified version of Stage 2 lockdown with select other hotspot regions back in early October.

But residents can look forward to these things finally reopening to the public again in less than two weeks.

The news was revealed in Ford's presser on Tuesday, where he also shared a newfangled colour-coded plan that Ontario will be using to reopen or further close regions in the province depending on their respective COVID situations.

The Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework not only lays out criteria for how and when regions can move into different levels of lockdown, but also how different types of businesses will operate under each level.

The coloured categories range from Grey-Lockdown (maximum measures, similar to Stage 1 or pre-Stage 1) to Green-Prevent (standard measures, similar to Stage 3), with Red-Control, Orange-Restrict, and Yellow-Protect in between.

On Nov. 14, Toronto will join Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Peel and York in Orange, bars and restaurants will be subject to their own new set of procedures, as will retail stores, meeting and event spaces, casinos, cinemas, performing arts facilities, personal care services, and sports and recreational facilities such as gyms.

Our gyms will need to continue to follow many of the same restrictions as they were before they were most recently shuttered when they reopen on Nov. 14.

Measures include limiting indoor classes to 50 people and outdoor classes to 100 people, and modifying team sports to avoid physical contact and contain a maximum of 50 players per league.

But, there are also some new measures, including a cap of 50 people per entire facility/program, a rule that certain gyms could bend to 50 people per room, if they had a special plan approved by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

All members will also now have to undergo COVID-19 screening in the form of a questionnaire before entering the premises or participating in any programming, and will have to keep their workout to an hour or less (sports games are exempt from this time limit).

Also, spectators will no longer be allowed for sports games or fitness activities whatsoever.

Before new capacity limits were announced for fitness facilities in Toronto on Oct. 3, followed by orders to close their doors to the public once again on Oct. 10, such businesses had been begging the government to stay open after so many months of financial harship.

Certain gyms were able to remain open through a sort of loophole if they could classify themselves as a sports club, while dance classes were added to the list of permitted activities despite gym closures, making things a little confusing.

And some people are finding that province's new framework is just making things even more complicated.

gyms reopening

Chart from the Province of Ontario.

Hopefully maintaining their own strict cleanliness standards — which some locations of one major chain were accused of flouting — and dilligently adhering to both old and new provincial protocols will ensure as little community transmission as possible in these settings and enable gyms to stay open for longer this time around.

It all depends on how Toronto fares as far as overall cases in the coming weeks.

With daily new infection numbers still high, though, fitness buffs might want to consider continuing to get their exercise at home, outside, or turn to more creative options.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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