The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls for the reopening of Pilates, yoga and other studios under strict and measured Covid-19 guidelines under the risk-adjusted level 3 lockdown. These studios have been shut down for more than 3 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic lockdown – they can no longer afford to watch helplessly as their revenue dry up.
While some industries, such as restaurants have slowly been attuned to reopen under measured lockdown regulations, Pilates, yoga and other studios, have not yet been given a thumbs up.
The owners of these businesses, majority of which are females who desperately need the income, have not had access to a sustainable income for the entire lockdown period and they run the risk of permanently closing down their businesses putting many more people out of jobs.
Not only are the business owners at risk, but this will have a major ripple effect on service providers whose businesses are reliant on these studios to survive. These include small businesses such as costume seamstresses, yoga and Pilates equipment and clothing manufacturers, cleaning staff and many instructors – people’s livelihoods are at stake.
Furthermore, this industry falls under non-contact sport operated in a controlled safe environment and have the ability to adjust to the current realities more readily than other industries. The DA is of the view that if non-contact sport codes are allowed in a controlled safe environment then the same privilege should be extended to yoga, Pilates and other studios.
Another grouping in the fitness sector has approached the courts to compel the government to open gyms. In an effort to persuade the government to reopen their sector, a group of small business and health industry specialists in the disciplines of Pilates, Yoga and other specialised discipline have banded together to form The Specialized Studio Practitioners Foundation. The group has proactively adjusted their studios and have ensured that they are thoroughly cleaned to meet with the required health and safety standards.
This industry shows readiness and has all the needed protocols in place, they understand the restrictions on indoor wellness activities and have all their ducks in a row to ensure health and safety for their clients during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The DA calls on the government to do the right thing and reopen these studios to save livelihoods and to prevent even more South Africans from being condemned to joblessness.
Click here to contribute to the DA’s legal action challenging irrational and dangerous elements of the hard lockdown in court