|The reopening of gyms in Metro Manila could help bring pro sports back in the province amid the new COVID-19 protocols. PBA Images (file photo)|
MANILA--In what could be seen as the first step toward possibly seeing sports bubbles happening in Metro Manila again, the Inter-Agency Task Force approved an amendment to its new granular lockdown-based COVID-19 protocols that would allow fitness centers to reopen.
In an announcement by Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque passed on to media outlets on Thursday night, the IATF has allowed the resumption of the gyms in Metro Manila, which is currently under Alert Level 4 in the pilot implementation of the new quarantine classifications, which might be implemented in some other provinces very soon.
Initially, gyms are not allowed to open in Alert Level 4 areas, but the amendment is good news to the fitness enthusiasts who are looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle especially during this health crisis.
However, gym buffs must have already been fully vaccinated before working out.
"The IATF approved the reopening of fitness studios and gyms at a limited 20 percent capacity for fully vaccinated individuals, provided that all gym workers should also be fully vaccinated," Roque said in the statement.
He also said that the physical training sessions are only limited to an individual scale.
"Both clients and service providers shall also wear face masks at all times and no group activities will be allowed," Roque continued.
He then said that gyms that have been given the Safety Seal Certificate can expand their operations by 10 more percent, giving them a leeway to accept up to 30 percent of their respective full capacities.
However, Roque clarified that the gym reopening is only for Metro Manila as its neighboring provinces will still be implementing the old quarantine classifications.
In fact, the rest of the NCR Plus area, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite, will remain under the modified enhanced community quarantine until Oct. 15 despite a noticeable slowdown of their respective COVID-19 growth rates.
Under the old rules, gyms are not allowed to operate in MECQ areas.
The Alert Level 4 status for Metro Manila will also remain until Oct. 15 despite some optimism that the status would be downgraded to Alert Level 3.
Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno