The Ontario government is increasing the capacity of gyms and recreational centres to help more businesses reopen their doors.
On Friday, Premier Doug Ford said that beginning on August 15 at 12:01 am, gyms, fitness centres, and recreational facilities can increase their capacity to 50 people per room with physical distancing in place.
“Local businesses can now hire back more workers,” Ford said. “We want to ensure sports and recreation can be up and running safely.”
According to the province, the revised capacity limits on a per room basis will apply to gyms, health clubs, community centres, multi-purpose facilities, arenas, exercise studios, yoga and dance studios, and “other fitness facilities that are able to follow the new guidance.”
“Many of our gyms and fitness centres are owned and operated by small business owners and they are struggling,” said Ford.
“To help them get back on their feet and hire back staff, we are making these changes so they can serve more people. I continue to urge everyone to follow the strict public health protocols to ensure everyone can have a safe workout.”
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The province says that the change was enabled by amendments to the Stage 3 regulation. Therefore, a new plan and guidance document has been created to apply a per room limit for sport and recreational fitness activities at facilities with the necessary space or layout.
In Stage 3, capacity for indoor settings is capped at 50 people.
Ford also announced that the province is investing $8 million through the Ontario Amateur Sport Fund, to provide younger people with access to sports and recreational facilities.
“The funding will help them continue delivering high-quality programming and competitions to develop athletes, coaches and officials, and to promote health and wellness in communities across the province,” the statement reads.
The province notes that different municipalities have mandatory face masks policies and to check what applies in each residents’ jurisdictions regarding fitness centres.