CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — For the first time in almost half a year, gyms in New Jersey will soon be allowed to reopen. When gyms reopen Sept. 1, like the Planet Fitness in Cherry Hill, the inside will look a little different.
Gyms are empty now but when they reopen, they’ll be required to operate at 25% capacity. Masks must also be worn.
“We’re very ready to have people come in and get a great workout in a safe experience,” Planet Fitness operator Bill Olson said.
Over at Echelon Health and Fitness in Voorhees Township, instructors have been holding outside workout classes since July.
But when the indoor gym reopens next Tuesday, people will have to step on the disinfectant mat to clean the bottoms of their shoes. Members will also need to grab a bucket of sanitation wipes at the front desk so they can wipe down equipment.
NJ Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday morning gyms will be allowed to reopen on Sept. 1. Many gyms are increasing sanitation efforts beyond what’s required https://t.co/y6VgYNE6ns @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/hmYYoqOPFX
— Matt Petrillo (@MattPetrillo) August 26, 2020
A temperature check and signing a waiver will also be required.
“We’re just taking it to the next level just to make sure that our members are as safe as they could possibly be,” Samantha Moore said.
Fitness centers in New Jersey have been shutdown for nearly half a year and are among the last in the nation to reopen.
The owner of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr says he could have safely reopened months ago.
“There is no science to back up why the shutdown was this long and why small business was villainized in all of this,” owner Ian Smith said.
Smith was infamously arrested in July for opening his gym early and defying the governor’s shutdown orders.
Still, some workout studios, like Upcycle in Cherry Hill, are choosing to only have outside classes.
“We can have 15 bikes out there in a class and everyone is six feet apart and they don’t have to wear masks because they’re outside,” owner Kim Oberg said.