Ontario government says gyms and fitness centres can increase capacity limits

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On Aug. 14, the Ontario government announced that gyms and fitness facilities can welcome more patrons beginning Aug. 15. 

Premier Doug Ford and Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, said that going forward, the province is applying a capacity limit on a per room basis to help more businesses reopen their doors. Beginning tomorrow at 12:01 am, facilities can have up to 50 patrons for each indoor sport or fitness room while ensuring physical distancing of at least two metres.

“Many of our gyms and fitness centres are owned and operated by small business owners and they are struggling,” said Ford in a statement. 

“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.”

The revised capacity limits are on a per room basis and will apply to the gymnasiums, 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 guidelines. 

The province said that businesses, not-for-profits, and municipalities may need or choose to take more time before implementing the change in capacity limits. Facilities may also adopt their own protocols that are more restrictive, should they choose to do so. 

The government also announced that it's investing $8 million through the Ontario Amateur Sport Fund to help the province’s sports organizations. 

“The government knows it has been a difficult road for the sport and recreation sector these past several months,” said MacLeod in a statement. 

“This funding is providing much-needed stability and support to a sector that provides services to many businesses and non-profit organizations. With these changes and investments, we will once again show the world that Ontario is the best place to play sports.”

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