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Fitness studios itching to reopen

Last Updated May 8, 2020 at 10:19 am EDT

CALGARY (CityNews) – The phased reopening of the economy has some business wanting to pump the brakes but others, like fitness boutiques, say they should be opening earlier.

A petition in Alberta is calling for the government to let them reopen in the second stage of its relaunch plan along with movie theatres, personal services and massage therapists.

“Everybody has just kind of been pushed into this box and we’re just trying to bring awareness that I don’t think it’s the same box for everybody,” said Nathan Amor, owner of F45 Inglewood.

“Our maximum capacity at F45 is 30 people per class, we could reduce that 50 per cent. That would easily allow for that six feet of distance per person per workout station.”

RELATED: Is it too early to reopen? An infectious disease expert weighs in

Amor also believes it will be easier to keep stations clean with the help of instructors and do contact tracing in studios that have no more than 200 total members, compared to other gyms or rec centres which can have thousands.

“One size is not going to fit all when it comes to industry or services,” said infectious disease expert Dr. Craig Jenne. “Although we can have enhanced measures in one company or a service, none of the enhanced measures are airtight.”

While the U.S. has gyms and fitness centres as part of the initial reopening plans, provinces seem to be taking a more cautious approach.

“F45 HQ has actually given us an 18-page document on the process to do everything, how often we should be doing things, where we should posting signs, how we should be coaching our members to open and close doors and wiping things down,” said Amor.

Although they want to reopen sooner, Amor admits they won’t do it if it’s not safe.

“What we’d like to see is get Phase One open to see how that goes, see how bars and restaurants do their social distancing. We kind of want to wait and see what that is and make sure there isn’t a massive uptick.”

Phase one of Alberta’s relaunch plan is set to start on May 14 with a date yet to be determined for phase two.