Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has said indoor sports centers and gyms may resume operations starting Monday, following the relaxation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in the city.
In September, the Jakarta administration reimposed full PSBB in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the capital. Anies announced on Sunday that the city had entered the second transitional period and businesses, such as gyms and cinemas, could now open under strict health protocols.
"We implemented the emergency brake policy [of full PSBB] for about a month because the number of cases was increasing out of our control. After the number of new cases became more stable, we started to release the brakes slowly, step by step," Anies said in a statement.
The transitional period will last until at least Oct. 25. Fitness centers will be required to comply with health protocols during this time and clean and disinfect their facilities frequently.
The new regulations include strict physical distancing rules. During the transitional period, gyms are required to limit their occupancy to 25 percent of their typical capacity and keep a distance of at least two meters between people, antaranews.com reported.
Indoor group workouts and training classes are prohibited during the transitional period.
In addition to physical distancing, gym owners are also required to prepare air circulation controllers for indoor facilities and ensure all staff members wear face masks, face shields and gloves while working in public areas. Gyms may only open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The Jakarta administration is requiring all businesses, including fitness centers, to record visitors in a physical or digital guest book to assist in contact tracing of confirmed cases.
Gym members are now required to share their personal data, including full name, the first six digits of their identification card, cell phone number, group size, date of visit and arrival and departure times when visiting fitness centers.
Gyms were required to temporarily stop their operations during the early "new normal" phase.
In July, the national COVID-19 task force announced that fitness centers could reopen with strict adherence to health protocols. However, the plans were scrapped in response to soaring numbers of COVID-19 cases in Jakarta.
In July, sports physician Andi Kurniawan said gyms were high-risk areas for COVID-19 transmission.
"When someone does physical training like running on the treadmill and they pant, they can release droplets into the air, and there is potential for the virus to spread," he said.
"Gyms are indoor facilities, and various studies show that exercising indoors poses a higher risk of infection compared to exercising outdoors, so it is very important for gyms to apply strict health protocols to prevent the spread of the virus." (jes)