Are fitness clubs around the world opening up again?

By Parisa Hashempour

Published 20 May 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has forced gyms and studios around the world to close their doors. Fitness professionals and business owners have moved their offering online in order to adjust to what appears to be the ‘new normal’.

It’s a confusing and difficult time for us all to navigate, but in particular, those working in the fitness industry are left wondering “when will gyms and fitness clubs reopen?

The answer is varied. There are vast differences from country to country, state to state and in some places it will even depend on the type of gym or studio you own.

The good news is that gyms are reopening again, all over the world. It’s true that life won’t be completely the same for a while, and when clubs reopen they’ll have to quickly implement new safety measures to ensure they limit the spread of the virus.

However, the industry will start to find its feet again soon, and clubs, studios and gyms can start to bring in the same levels of revenue once again.

This article outlines the status of fitness club reopening policies in all of the US states and European countries. Plus we look at how to use technology to open back up AND give you a sneak-preview of the new software launch that will help you evolve in preparation for the future of fitness.

Why technology is crucial for reopening

The landscape of the fitness industry transformed practically overnight – and as we move into a post-pandemic world, the way that consumers approach their exercise and wellness regimes has changed for good too.

Before the pandemic, technology was a useful addition to your fitness business. It helped you manage your bookings, scheduling and payments and enabled you to spend more time with clients.

But today, the technology you use should do all that and more. As your members become more and more used to working out with live-streaming, virtual trainers and in-app progress tracking, you should ensure that your online offering is on par with your real-life fitness programs. These are essential steps to take to ensure your business succeeds when gyms reopen after lockdown.

Recent research undertaken by Virtuagym found that while the vast majority of fitness professionals are offering online classes and workout options, more than half of them surveyed are unsure how to monetize and market their new digital fitness plans.

Rather than simply uploading classes to social media and giving them out for free, consider how you could use software to give your business model a boost. By utilizing Virtuagym’s software you can provide your members with a complete, holistic wellness experience.

The app, branded to your personal business, gives members access to in-app training programs, exercise and nutrition tracking, fitness challenges, live-streaming workouts and a library of more than 5000 3D workouts with an animated virtual trainer.

When will gyms reopen?

So, when does the gym actually open back up? Across the US, local governments have made varying decisions about whether or not they want to open the fitness industry back up in their area.In Europe, the situation is just as varied.

The heatmaps looks at both the situation in the US and Europe and outlines the states that have yet to open, those that are opening soon, and those that have been given the greenlight (with safety measures put in place to reduce the risk of transmissions).

It’s also worth noting that those countries that have opened gyms again may revert back to closure. Beijing has again closed gyms and fitness centers after noticing a resurgence of the virus when lockdown measures were relaxed.

  • So, when will gyms reopen in the US?

In total, 24 of the 51 US states have already opened their gyms back up. In states such as Arkansas and Georgia, fitness centers have opened back up again with some caveats.

The states that have reopened have by and large not allowed clubs to open up swimming pools and saunas, as these are areas in which the virus has a greater chance of spreading. On top of this, those gyms that do reopen are required to ensure that their members adhere to proper social distancing rules.

Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio are all set to reopen within the next two weeks. The majority of these opening dates come in the last few days of May. However, 20 states in total are still keeping gyms closed or enforcing a continued complete lockdown, including some of the country’s most densely populated areas such as New Jersey and Rhode Island. For more detailed information on your local state, check out the heatmap above.

  • When will gyms reopen in Europe?

In Europe, gym reopening dates continue to be a mixed bag. Some European countries have reopened their gyms with new distancing measures in place and others are still in quarantine.

In total, 12 countries have now introduced some form of gym reopening. 4 countries are partially reopened, with some states opening gyms and others waiting.

However, the majority of European countries still have not opened up their gyms, studios and fitness clubs, 24 on our heat map in total. Countries such as Italy and Luxembourg are hoping to reopen again soon but in some places, such as Ireland, business owners will have to wait until at least June 29th until they are allowed to reopen their fitness centers.

  • When does the gym open back up in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, gyms are still currently closed and will continue to stay shut for the time being. A new 50-page Government government document ‘Our Plan to Rebuild’ sets out a three-phase strategy for gradually lifting the current lockdown restrictions in the UK, but does not make arrangements for the country’s gyms and fitness clubs.

UKActive have come up with their own strategy for the safe reopening of gyms in the UK when lockdown is lifted.

How Stronger Together can transform your business when gyms reopen after coronavirus

There is a lot of uncertainty about gym reopening times and whether clubs will in fact stay open for good once they finally are allowed to invite members back in.

As such, it’s important to align your business offering and message with the changing needs of the people you provide a service to.

The new Stronger Together program from Virtuagym combines the real-life experience of training clients and members inside a facility with all of the digital training solutions their members need, such as live streaming classes, virtual training, nutrition and workout tracking and a virtual community to share their results with.

This new offering allows members to remain a part of the club community and support their local gym throughout the difficult period currently faced.

Members continue to pay their club at a discounted rate, and in exchange receive a hybrid wellness solution combining real-life and virtual experiences that cater to all of their health, fitness and wellness needs.

Virtuagym does all the heavy lifting and can also provide business owners with fully integrated online billing. The system helps clubs boost retention with AI-driven coaching and push reactivation and will be crucial to ensuring your business thrives when gyms reopen.

*Virtuagym is not an official source of governmental regulations and cannot be held liable for any consequential damages that result from the use of, or the inability to use, the materials in this site.

Parisa Hashempour

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