New York Gyms Can Reopen Next Week, Masks Required, Cuomo Says


Gyms in New York can reopen as soon as Aug. 24, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today.

Detailed guidance is on the way later today, but gyms will be limited to 33% of their total capacity and masks will be required at all times, Cuomo said during a press conference in New York City this morning.

Gyms are among the last businesses Cuomo has allowed to return following months of coronavirus shutdowns. Like other nonessential businesses, gyms closed in March to help slow the spread of the pandemic.

Other reopening rules include:

  • Patrons will be required to sign in to aid tracing contacts if someone at a gym tests positive for the virus.
  • Gyms will have to install strong air filters, similar to those required of businesses like malls.
  • Health screenings will be required.

The new guidance is strict and it should be, Cuomo said. Gyms present a higher risk of spreading the virus than some other businesses.

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Cuomo acknowledged some patrons might be unhappy with the mask requirement, but they’re not optional.

Local governments also have a role to play in reopening gyms, Cuomo said. They’ll have to inspect the facilities before they open or within two weeks of their opening to make sure they’re meeting state requirements.

Local officials will determine whether gyms can hold indoor fitness classes.

The state began a phased reopening of businesses in May, but even when all of New York reached the fourth and final phase, gyms were not allowed to return. Earlier in August, Cuomo said they’d remain dark indefinitely and called them a dangerous activity amid the ongoing pandemic.

But last week, he softened his stance and said the state would issue reopening guidance today.

The previous lack of clear guidance from the state on when gyms would be allowed to come back has been a major source of frustration for owners, trainers, and others.

The state’s nontribal casinos and movie theaters have also not yet been allowed to reopen. Malls were not initially allowed to reopen in the fourth phase of the reopening plan either, but were then allowed to return in July.

Cuomo gave permission last week for bowling alleys to reopen starting today.

*This article was originally published on and can be found here.

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