Namibia: Gyms to Reopen Under Strict Conditions

WITH Namibia entering Stage 3 of the lockdown on Monday, there will not be much change for sport, with the exception of gyms and exercise centres.

According to the guidelines for Stage 3 which were issued last Thursday, gyms and exercise centres are permitted to reopen, 'subject to adherence to the operational guidelines as provided by the ministry of industralization and trade stipulating the number of persons permitted inside an establishment per square metre.'

The guidelines also stipulate that gyms and exercise centres need to adhere to strict hygiene measures, including cleaning and disinfecting equipment after every use.

According to the guidelines for gyms and health studios, the manager of the business must ensure that all people are sanitised when entering the facility, while temperature checks have to be implemented upon all entrants.

Furthermore, a client register is mandatory upon entry as well as at various sub-sections of the facility, for instance at the spinning studio or aerobic studios.

The use of showers will be prohibited at the facilities, while social distancing of at least one and a half metres inside and outside the facilities have to be maintained.

A limited number of clients of one person per 10 square metres of training floor space will be allowed at the facilities, while the maximum number of people allowed at a time will be displayed at the facilities' entrances.

Training hours will be limited to one hour sessions, 'in order to limit exposure to a greater number of people.

All staff must wear protective gear, while counters, machines and speedpoint pads must be cleaned and disinfected after every use.

A disinfection register must be implemented and signed every hour and must be visible to clients, while the guidelines warn that severe penalties will be imposed on managers who don't adhere to them.

"An owner or manager who contravenes the guidelines commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N$2 000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months," the guidelines for gyms and health studios stated.

The chief administrator of the Namibia Sport Commission, Freddy Mwiya, meanwhile warned gym owners to take the guidelines seriously.

"The gyms must expect surprise visits from the Sport Commission. We are not only regulators of sport affiliates, but of all sporting activities in Namibia, which includes physical training, and we need to take these guidelines seriously," he said.

For the rest of Namibia's sport codes there will, however, be no changes from last month's Stage 2.

Non-contact sports were allowed to resume training last month and that will continue, but contact sports are not even allowed to train on an organised basis.

"Sporting events and activities are permitted to resume, with the exception of contact sport and subject to adherence to the public gathering limit and the health and hygiene protocols," the guidelines for Stage 3 state.

"Contact sport will not be allowed to take place while they are also not allowed to have organised training. Only training for non-contact sports will be allowed and only with a maximum of 10 people," Mwiya said.

Mwiya, meanwhile, expressed satisfaction with the response of non contact sport codes

Äbout 70 percent of the non contact sport codes have submitted reports that we sent to them to update us on the progress and challenges they faced during Stage 2 of the lockdown. This is very helpful because it helps us to retrieve information, for instance on how to trace people," he said.

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