Gym operators hope to reopen soon with strict adherence to SOP

by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic credit: anytimefitness.com

GYM operators and customers are calling for gyms to be reopened as Malaysia is preparing for the easing of lockdowns and adaptation of the new normal.

Anytime Fitness Asia CEO Rey Bolivar told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) all gyms are hoping to reopen with an environment in which members, guests and staff feel — and are — safe.

“Health is now the number one priority for everyone, and fitness is a key factor in ensuring a strong and resilient immune system. We are both hopeful and confident that the market is ready to work out again and support businesses such as Anytime Fitness gyms.

“We have been working with both large and small operators in Malaysia to have a unified voice in preparing to reopen, and have submitted our proposal and met with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry,” he said.

Anytime Fitness is confident that its systems and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for a post-Covid-19 reopening are more than sufficient in ensuring a safe environment to work out in.

Some of the measures prepared are distancing, heightened cleaning and enhanced hygiene measures, to ensure that its gyms are ready to welcome members back.

Bolivar said it is always a balance to ensure that members feel safe and that gyms can operate their business.

“On one hand, members must feel confident about safety measures in place and on the other, gyms must be able to implement safety protocols while ensuring that their business can continue to run smoothly.

“We have ramped up our SOPs, and we are proud to be part of an industry in which all players are doing the same,” added Bolivar.

Fuel Athletics MD and co-founder Matin Nazir Johanabas told TMR that he hopes Fuel Athletics’ business can successfully make a smooth transition back into operations with zero Covid-19 cases reported within any gym premises.

When asked if he believes gyms are ready to reopen, he said yes with proper and effective SOPs in place.

“We are just like any other businesses that commune people together.

“We believe that we are agile enough to be able to change and adapt our practices under the country’s current health situation, creating a ‘new norm’ to how we conduct our business and deal with our staff and members,” he said.

This is to ensure no compromise on anyone’s health and safety in Fuel Athletics pursuit to resume operations.

On June 1, the Health Ministry tweeted that it will recommend to the government to allow relaxation to other sectors such as sports and education if Covid-19 cases involving locals remain at one or two digits within a week.

Matin Nazir said his company believes the government could play an important part in structuring a proper SOP, specifically for fitness and health centres to ensure that risks of a virus spreading are mitigated to its full extent.

“Our biggest concern would be the safety and health of our staff and members who are with us. As institutions guiding and helping people to be a healthier and fitter version of themselves, we see the SOPs as something that must be adhered to in order to stay true to our mission,” he added.