After being ordered to shut down for almost a year, gymnasiums across Belize open on February 1st under the recently amended COVID-19 Quarantine Regulations. The new regulations allow access to gyms by appointment only, restrict capacity to 50%, limit to one hour, and everyone must adhere to the mandated health protocols (proper sanitization, mask-wearing, and social distancing). One gym south of downtown, San Pedro Fitness Club, greets members/customers with informative signs reminding them of the COVID-19 regulations such as facemask wearing and social distancing. There are hand sanitizers readily available, and before accessing the machines, the individualís temperature is measured, and the time of attendance is registered at the front desk. To observe social distancing, only two persons are allowed at the front desk, and while inside the gym, only six users (50% capacity) can be at any given time. The usage of the equipment is limited to one hour. According to management, every machine is correctly sanitized after every session. Appointments are highly encouraged and can be made by calling 614-2891.

Some of these regulations are applied at another gym in downtown San Pedro. At Belize Fitness, temperatures are read, and attendance is logged on. This gym is also only allowing 50% of attendance to observe social distancing adequately. Some of their machines have been blocked off to ensure the six feet between every user. Proper sanitization is required after each use, and for this, disinfectant and rags/paper tissue is provided. According to the management, it has been challenging, but they are pleased to be open once again and continue providing the same services as before, including an open space for working out and specials on protein shakes available in the gym. For more information or appointments, calls can be made to the phone number 608-4736.

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The Return of the Gyms
Itís the second day that gyms across the country have been able to reopen since the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in March 2020. Since then, gyms have been ordered to close, but new regulations announced on Friday allows gyms to be open with fifty percent capacity. But the prolonged closure has affected the business of gyms across the country. Today, News Five Reporter Hipolito Novelo found out that gym owners are still struggling to keep their businesses running.