Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has said that gyms and fitness centres in the state will be allowed to restart operations after Dusshera but only if they strictly follow the Standard Operation Procedures (SOP). Going by this, the gyms which have been shut since March when the nationwide lockdown was announced to combat the spread of Covid-19 are likely to open from October 25.
Maharashtra — with the highest Covid-19 cases in the country — is following a strict unlocking, separate from the other states. The Centre had allowed gyms and fitness centres to reopen across the country in the last phase of unlocking. But Maharashtra didn’t allow gyms to reopen. Cinema halls, religious places, swimming pools — which have been allowed to resume functioning elsewhere — are still closed in Maharashtra.
Though gyms will be opened, activities like steam bath, sauna, Zumba and Yoga, which either involve group activities or water which can increase the possibility of infection, will remain suspended.
The issue of what will be reopening has become a contentious one in the wake of mounting pressure to reopen temples in the state. Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari questioned Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s “secularism” as he is not allowing temples in the state to open.
The Maharashtra government has recently allowed weekly markets, monorails, metro rails, business-to-business exhibitions to gradually start functioning. Monorails will start running from October 17 while Mumbai metro will start from October 19. The number of Mumbai locals has been increased from October 15. Women are also allowed to travel now in Mumbai local trains.