Governor Andrew Cuomo announced at a briefing on August 17 that New York gyms can reopen their doors as soon as August 24, and no later than September 2.
Cuomo said gyms would be allowed to reopen because New York has kept its rate of positive COVID-19 test rates hovering around 1% since June. However, gyms will open with limitations, only being allowed to open at 33% capacity, with mandatory mask wearing and other strict health measures.
Other reopening guidelines include having HVAC systems that meet state requirements, and local officials must inspect every gym before it opens or within two weeks of opening. These regulations will be strictly enforced, said Cuomo.
“They have to inspect the gyms before they open or within two weeks of their opening to make sure they are meeting all of the requirements,” said Cuomo, in the briefing. “So, the variation [between August 24 and September 2] is to give the locality time. If the locality can get the inspections done or be ready to inspect, they can open August 24. If the locality cannot get ready to do inspections, then they get another week. They can do it September 2.”
Cuomo added, “Gyms are one of the areas where you have to be very careful, if it’s not done right, it can be a problem and we’ve seen that … compliance is what I am concerned about.”
This statement is not sitting well with some fitness industry leaders.
Brooklyn Esposito, the strategic sales coordinator for City Fitness, with locations throughout Pennsylvania, took to LinkedIn to say, “#gyms are NOT problematic and they are NOT the problem! They are a #solution. Shame on Cuomo for his quote in this article. But cheers to New York gyms reopening soon.”
Regardless, health clubs have been closed statewide since March 22, so the decision to reopen is a big win for New York operators.
This story will be updated with the full list of guidelines when available.