Gym owners in Bahrain ‘confused and sad’

Gyms and fitness studios were first shut down in March last year, reopened in August last year under strict guidelines, and shut down again in February this year

  

Gym owners said they were “confused and sad” with latest precautionary measures as authorities announced that fitness centres and private gyms will be closed until June 10.

They said they followed the protocols set by authorities to only allow Covid-19 fully-vaccinated members, and the new directive was not fair.

“There is a big question mark that we all have because gyms like many other businesses only allowed fully-vaccinated people to enter from the first day of Eid,” said Bahraini Adel Al Murbati, who is part of the Gym Owners and Health Clubs Association yesterday.

“Many outlets have shut down since last year due to the Covid-19 economic impact – and get ready for more businesses to switch off their lights.”

Mr Al Murbati said all their clients and staff members had the green shield on the BeAware Bahrain mobile app indicating that they were fully vaccinated.

GATHERINGS

“Gyms are not the reason for the increase in Covid-19 figures but family gatherings, a fact repeatedly highlighted by health officials.”

He added that there was no clarity on whether outdoor gyms are allowed to operate.

“We are all genuinely confused and sad because we followed all the guidelines, and now once again our outlets are shut down.”

Gyms and fitness studios were first shut down in March last year, reopened in August last year under strict guidelines, and shut down again in February this year.

The ruling was then extended to March 14, following which all outlets were reopened.

The GDN has reported since last year that gym owners were facing financial troubles related to pending rents, staff salaries and other fixed operational costs.

Meanwhile, a senior hotelier said yesterday the decision will affect the business especially restaurants and bookings.

“In my personal opinion this is the right decision similar to what other countries have done to bring down the number of Covid-19 cases,” said the hotelier, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“From a business point of view, the quarantine business is hit now because we continued to get a good number of guests, who completed the quarantine in Bahrain and later crossed the King Fahad Causeway to Saudi Arabia.”

“With everything closed now, we will not see Saudi visitors coming into Bahrain for a bit.”

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