Hundreds of indoor gyms, sports and fitness clubs, and sports academies across Dubai reopened its doors Wednesday, May 27. The announcement came after two months of government-mandated closures due to Covid-19 as restrictions within the UAE continue to gradually lift. Although these facilities can once again operate between 6am and 11pm in accordance with the ongoing National Sterilisation Programme, the workout experience will look slightly different compared to pre-lockdown with a series of updated policies and procedures in alignment with authority requirements to curb the risk of contamination. The Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management released a circular earlier this week with the new regulations ahead of the openings to help both staff and clients prepare for the changes.
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) May 27, 2020
As fitness enthusiasts put their at-home workouts on hold and head to their favorite local gyms to return to the in-person grind, here are the safety guidelines to keep in mind before your first training session:
Before reopening, all sports facilities, tools, and equipment were required to undergo an intensive sanitization process by an authorized sterilization company approved by the Dubai Municipality. Once a certificate was issued to confirm its adherence to the highest level of hygiene standards and a permanent sanitization program was created, the facility was allowed to begin welcoming guests.
Each center can only allow a maximum of 50% of its regular capacity to prevent overcrowding and ensure proper distancing. Although many gyms have restarted their group fitness classes, the number of participants is likely to be capped and the duration of class reduced to allow for proper cleaning between sessions so advance reservations are recommended to guarantee a spot. Personal trainers can also only have up to two clients per session.
All visitors and instructors are required to wear a face mask at all times between exercises or when engaged in light or moderate physical activities but it can be lowered during “strenuous physical exercise”.
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Social distancing measures
Even inside the gym, a distance of at least two meters between people must continue to be maintained and partitions, such as acrylic dividers, will be installed to separate sports equipment and training areas where possible.
Sanitizers are readily accessible all throughout the gym and frequently shared equipment, such as dumbells or medicine balls, as well as floor areas must continuously be cleaned after each single-use.
Before the start of any training session, all participants and employees will have their temperature measured and anyone with a temperature over 37.5 degrees will not be permitted inside the facility.
Waiting areas, changing rooms, showers, and sauna/steam booths will remain closed for the time being and trainers are restricted from gathering together in any space for their own wellbeing.
Any individual with a cough, respiratory disease, chronic disease, breathing difficulty, or immunodeficiency are still unable to enter fitness facilities as are children below 12 or adults over 60.
Although these are the general specifications all fitness facilities must comply with, it’s best to check in with your specific gym and review their guidelines before arriving as some have additional preventative measures and studio rules for the health and safety of their trainers and trainees. While most gyms in Dubai are already welcoming clients back, not all are officially open as of yet and some will continue to also hold virtual workouts to ensure all members have access to classes. Keep an eye out for updated instructions from the health authorities as the situation continues to change in the country so you can adapt your workout regime accordingly.