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Ontario gives the OK for gyms, rec facilities to reopen

As of Aug. 15, you’ll be able to get your sweat on again

Today, the province announced that, as of Aug. 15, sport, fitness and recreation facilities will be able to reopen. You can start working off those pandemic pounds, folks.

There is a capacity limit on a per room basis “to help more businesses reopen their doors, get more people back to work and promote the return to a healthy and active lifestyle for all Ontarians,” the province said in a news release. 

Facilities can have up to 50 patrons for each indoor sport or fitness room, while ensuring physical distancing of at least two metres.

The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford and Lisa MacLeod, the minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.

"Many of our gyms and fitness centres are owned and operated by small business owners and they are struggling," Ford said. "To help them get back on their feet and hire back staff, we are making these changes so they can serve more people. I continue to urge everyone to follow the strict public health protocols to ensure everyone can have a safe workout."

The revised capacity limits are on a per room basis. They will apply to the gymnasiums, health clubs, community centres, multi-purpose facilities, arenas, exercise studios, yoga and dance studios and other fitness facilities that are able to follow the new guidance, the province said.

Facilities do not have to open on Aug. 15, but are allowed to with proper protocols in place, as dictated by the province.

“Facilities may also adopt their own protocols that are more restrictive than the guidance,” the province said.

Today, Ontario also announced $8 million in funding through the Ontario Amateur Sport Fund to help sports organizations impacted by the pandemic get back on their feet.