The Maharashtra government has given permission to gymnasiums and fitness centres to reopen from October 25, on the occasion of Hindu festival Dussehra, with certain restrictions amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray interacted with representatives of various gyms and fitness centers in the state today to set a standard operating procedure for their services. Preventive measures for COVID-19 were discussed during the virtual meeting.
Activities like steam bath, sauna, Zumba and Yoga, however, will continue to remain shut at these centres.
Gymnasiums and fitness centres are for the welfare of citizens, so care should be taken to ensure that there is no virus spread, the chief minister said.
Mr Thackeray said the state government was going slow on lifting COVID-19 restrictions because there should be no complacency.
Safety measures such as disinfecting premises every hour, physical distancing, sanitisation and use of masks would be mandatory, the chief minister said, adding that health checks of trainers and employees should be done regularly.
The state government had earlier allowed outdoor centres for exercise and gymnastics to function from August 5, following social-distancing and hygiene protocols.
The Centre in July had issued a notice allowing all gymnasiums and yoga institutes in the country to reopen from August 5 but several states and cities had kept them shut due to rising number of COVID-19 cases.
Gym owners in the state have been asking the government for several weeks to approve the opening of their centres after being financially hit due to the lockdown.
Maharashtra recorded 10,259 new COVID-19 cases today which took the state's caseload to 15,86,321. The death count rose to 41,965 as 250 patients died today, according to news agency PTI.
India's COVID-19 caseload went past 74 lakh today, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease crossed 65 lakh pushing the recovery rate to 87.78 per cent, according to data updated by the Union Health Ministry.
(With inputs from PTI)