Keep Gauteng gyms and fitness centres open so people can retain strong immune systems against Covid-19

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to Gauteng Premier David Makhura, requesting him to engage his counterparts in the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and provide the evidence to the DA that Covid-19 has been spreading in Gauteng gyms and fitness centres and whether these are the reasons for their total closure during level 4 lockdown. We have requested this information to be provided to us no later than Monday, 5th July 2021.

The sudden closure of gyms and fitness centres is set to have a negative impact on employees, who are at risk of not receiving any salary. The anxiety of trying to figure out how to survive the next month with a reduced income is unimaginable for some of us, but is the terrible reality for many others.

These closures are also set to affect members of these facilities, who will now have their regular exercise routine halted, possibly leading to weaker immune systems and become more vulnerable to Covid-19.

The reality is, since gyms and fitness centres were reopened in August last year, these facilities have successfully enforced strict compliant health protocols that ensured safe exercise for all members. To date, gyms and fitness centres have not been found to be super-spreader venues and are often more safe than the standard grocery store.

The blanket closure of gyms and fitness centres is just another irrational, selfish decision by government, who should rather approach this more pragmatically, and enforce a 50 person limit in all gyms and fitness centres, like it has done before. This limit already exists for funerals under the current lockdown level 4 regulations, and was managed very well by gyms and fitness centres under previous harder lockdowns.

Once again, the residents of Gauteng now have to pay the price because government miserably failed to enforce their previous lockdown regulations and adequately equip the health care sector to avoid such a dangerous third wave.

The DA will not let this go. Gym and fitness centre owners and members have been responsible during this entire pandemic. Government will be made to account for this irrational decision, and if no evidence is provided, be demanded to allow gyms and fitness centres to reopen.