Shut for close to six months since the Covid lockdown, gyms and yoga centres can reopen with immediate effect in all parts of Delhi, except containment zones, stated an order issued by Chief Secretary Vijay Dev on Sunday. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has also allowed weekly markets to operate on a rotational basis in each zone.
However, spas, sauna, steam baths and swimming pools will remain closed.
“… The situation of Covid-19 in Delhi has been reviewed and it has been decided that the present arrangement of opening of weekly markets on a trial basis may be continued till September 30, and gymnasiums and yoga institutes may also be allowed to open subject to strict compliance of SOP issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Government of India,” the order stated.
“One weekly market per day per zone in all three Municipal Corporations/NDMC/Delhi Cantonment Board allowed from September 14-30 (except containment zones),” the notification stated.
The order to open gyms comes as a relief to 5,500 gym owners and a workforce of 1 lakh people. “We thank the L-G and the Delhi government for the same. All gyms in Delhi will follow guidelines given by the MHA and DDMA. Social distancing, mask, sanitisation will all be kept on priority,” said Chirag Sethi, vice-president, Delhi Gym Association.
As per the directives, the DDMA and other departments/authorities concerned shall be responsible for strict compliance of the SOPs laid down by the government. If violated, the owner and manager of the premises will be held liable for prosecution under DDMA Act 2005, besides sealing of such premises.
On August 3, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had issued a set of preventive measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 in yoga institutes and gyms. The guidelines stated that persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are advised not to use gyms in closed spaces. The Delhi government has reiterated these rules for all yoga centres and gyms in the city.
For air-conditioning/ventilation, guidelines of the Central Public Works Department will be followed which emphasises that the temperature setting of air-conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30 degrees Celsius, relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.
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