Gyms and fitness centers across the Empire State are permitted to reopen starting next week at 33% capacity and masks must be worn by those inside at all times, Cuomo told reporters during a press briefing in Manhattan.
“There are health requirements that are in the guidelines to the ventilation requirements,” Cuomo said.
The governor said “localities” have a role in the reopening of gyms, and local health departments must inspect the establishments before or within two weeks of reopening.
Localities must open gyms by Sept. 2, said Cuomo, adding that “localities can determine whether or not the gyms can have classes inside it.”
Local elected officials will make the decisions, Cuomo said.
Gyms and fitness centers have been a hard-hit industry that’s one of the last to get the green light to reopen under the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.
Gyms have waited nearly five months to reopen to customers — originally hoping to be included in at least Phase 4 of New York’s reopening plan — and last week more than 1,500 businesses filed a class-action lawsuit against the governor, demanding the state lift its closure orders, according to the Staten Island Advance.
The Cuomo administration has insisted the delay is over fear of spreading the coronavirus while a person is exerting themselves and the inevitability of particle spread.
But small-business owners have argued they can’t afford to be closed much longer, and they can safely conduct workout classes and handle spaces to ensure social distancing and proper cleaning protocols will be in place.
Meanwhile, New York on Monday marked its 10th straight day of a COVID-19 positivity rate under 1%.
Cuomo previously announced Friday that bowling alleys would be allowed to reopen Monday — today — at 50% capacity.
Museums and other indoor cultural institutions in New York City may open back up to patrons at 25% capacity starting Aug. 24.
However, the fate of indoor dining in the five boroughs remains in limbo and for now, restaurant and bar owners continue to serve patrons in outdoor spaces.