Even after Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave gym owners the green light to finally start to reopen after being closed since March, Jay Hachadoorian is not sure he will meet the requirements to reopen his CrossFit Gantry gym in Long Island City .
“Yep, a lot of questions," said Hachadoorian. "We have to have an inspection by the Health Department. How do we get those inspections?" said Hachadoorian.
What You Need To Know
- Requirements to reopen include operating at 33% capacity, masks at all times, and gym members signing in
- Mayor’s office said city inspectors will prioritize schools and daycare centers over gyms, making it unlikely gyms will reopen Monday
- City inspectors will decide if a gym can have indoor classes
His gym, like many CrossFit gyms in the city, is located in an old warehouse.
The space has giant fans and an exhaust system. But he wonders if that will meet the air circulation requirements to reopen. He also worries what he'll do if inspectors don’t allow him to have indoor classes which is basically his entire business.
“So we may have to do a complete pivot to what we do as a gym, which the value is in the instruction and coaching,“ said Hachadoorian.
Other requirements include operating at 33 percent capacity and gym members wearing masks at all times. They must also sign in to make it easier to track them down if someone gets infected.
Gyms that meet the requirements after an inspection can open as early as Monday. The governor is making it clear enforcement and compliance will be taken seriously.
“If they are not following the order, you hand them a piece of paper and tell them you’re closed because you violated Governor Cuomo’s order,“ said Cuomo.
The governor said gyms in the state that meet requirements and pass a city inspection can open as early as Monday and no later than September 2. But the Mayor’s Office said city inspectors will prioritize schools and daycare centers over gyms, making it unlikely any gyms will reopen in the city next Monday. The Mayor’s office did not provide a timetable for when gyms would be able to reopen.
“We're very concerned about indoor settings,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told NY1. “The state was right to make sure there was local decision-making on a lot of specifics. We are going to be very cautious with the decision-making and will be very conservative.”
Some local gyms and national chains with more resources than independent gyms in the city had already put many safeguards into place before the governor’s announcement.
James Innocenti owns several Planet Fitness gyms in the city that he says will meet all requirements and then some. The chain is normally open 24 hours. It now plans to shut down overnight for a deep sanitization as an extra precaution.
“That’s our number one priority to keep our staff and members safe so that way everybody can continue to exercise, stay healthy and feel good,“ said Innocenti.
But are New Yorkers ready to go back to the gym. Will they feel safe? Some told us they will gradually ease into working out indoors again, while others are ready now.
“I think I’ll stay outside," said one gym-goer "It’s nice outside, there’s a lot of space I get out in the morning. Maybe in the Winter I’ll reassess."
“I trust the operators to make sure it’s safe that it’s hygienic so I’ll definitely go back," another gym-goer told us.