After a brief press conference, Prime Minister, announced that gyms, saunas and fitness centres will be allowed to open again on July 1st, instead of September 1st as was decided earlier.

Fitness centers had been expected to open only after the summer. “If we continue to comply with the rules, the greatest chance is that there will then be relaxing of rules on July 1 that were planned for September 1,” Prime Minister said. That means that people still have to maintain 1.5 meters distance from anyone they do not live with, work from home whenever possible, and be mindful of health symptoms, he stated.

Gyms to open on condition of good outcomes from easing of restrictions

Sports canteens and casinos will also have permission to open on July 1st. However, if the gradual easing of restrictions and the falling numbers of infections begin to take a turn for the worse, then the gyms may not be able to open on July 1st as planned.

Sports federation NOC*NSF has drawn up a protocol for responsible sports (in Dutch). They also supply information sports clubs and accommodations can use on posters and billboards (in Dutch) and offer answers to frequently asked questions(in Dutch).

Sector organisation for the fitness industry NL Actief has drawn up a protocol for the fitness industry (in Dutch). This protocol explains the rules in detail. You can also check the frequently asked questions (in Dutch).

Gyms must meet certain requirements, for instance, the ventilation must be working properly, hygiene measures must be well supervised and gym equipment must be regularly disinfected.

“For gyms and saunas, the Outbreak Management Team has given strict advice that they must comply with in order to open up again. The entire set of rules for July 1st will only continue if it is really possible,” Prime Minister said. 

Previously, the plan was for gyms to open in September, but gym owners objected to this, finding it much too late and therefore, the government was urged to rethink the closing of gyms until September.

In the meantime, people are still urged to continue to observe the 1,5-metre social distancing rules, refraining from congregating in large groups and wearing masks in public transport from June 1st. The definitive decision will be given about a week before July 1st, provided the relaxing of restrictions in the country have a positive outcome. 

A true love for sports

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