New Delhi: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today issued guidelines on preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 at gyms and yoga centres that are going to reopen across the country from August 5.
Generic preventive measures
All yoga institutes and gymnasiums in containment zones shall remain closed for public. Only those outside containment zones will be allowed to open up.
All yoga institutes and gymnasiums shall comply with all health-related guideline/SOP/notification issued by the Union/State Government from time to time.
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. Organizations managing the yoga institutes and gymnasiums shall advise all members, visitors & staff accordingly.
The generic preventive measures include simple public health measures that are to be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19. These measures need to be observed by all (members, visitors & staff) in these places at all times. These include:
i. Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet as far as feasible.
ii. Use of face covers/masks is mandatory at all times within the premises. However, during yoga
exercise or exercising in gymnasiums, as far as possible only a visor may be used. Use of mask (in
particular N-95 masks) during exercise may cause difficulty in breathing.
iii. Practice frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not
visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) can be practiced
iv. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves the strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.
v. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest to state and district helpline.
vi. Spitting should be strictly prohibited.
vii. Installation & use of Aarogya Setu App shall be advised to all.
At the entry point
i. Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions.
ii. Only asymptomatic persons (including staff) be allowed in the premises.
iii. All persons to be allowed entry only if using face cover/masks.
iv. All members, visitors and staff may consider using Aarogya Setu application for risk identification at all times inside the yoga institute/gymnasiums.
v. Posters/standees on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently. Audio and Video clips to spread awareness on preventive measures for COVID-19 may be regularly played.
vi. Ensure minimum distance of 6 feet at all times in queues.
vii. Proper crowd management in the parking lots, in corridors and in elevators – duly following social distancing norms shall be organized.
viii. Staggering of members/ visitors to be done, with separate timing slots, to allow for adequate physical distancing and disinfection of premises & equipment.
ix. In yoga institutes, shoes/footwear are to be preferably taken off outside the premises where yoga exercises are done. If needed they should be kept in separate slots for each individual/family by the persons themselves.
x. Details of check-in and checkout times of members and visitors must be recorded (name, address and phone number).
Prior to exercising in the gymnasiums using equipment for cardio, strength training etc.
i. Ensure that the equipment has been disinfected, particularly the frequently touched
surfaces before each use.
ii. Sanitize middle finger with alcohol swab and check oxygen saturation using pulse oximeter. Those having oxygen saturation below 95% should not be allowed to exercise. Call central/state helpline/ambulance and refer such persons to the nearest health facility.
iii. Remove mask and wear visor as far as feasible while exercising.
iv. Hand sanitizer stations must be provided near each gymnasium equipment.
v. Ensure that members sanitize their hands before using gymnasium equipment.
During yoga exercises/other exercise sessions
i. Common exercise mats should be avoided and members should preferably bring their own exercise mats which they may take back with them.
ii. In view of potential threat of spread of infection, as far as feasible recorded music/songs may be played and shouting/ laughter yoga exercise should not be allowed.
iii. Stop the exercise if you feel difficulty in breathing. Check oxygen saturation level. Those having oxygen saturation below 95% should not be allowed to continue exercise. Call central / state helpline/ambulance and refer such persons to the nearest health facility.
After exercise and in common areas
i. Ensure proper disposal of face covers/masks / used towels in covered bins.
ii. The shower areas/washrooms should be sanitized before and after use.
iii. Cafeteria facility, if any within the premises, shall follow social distancing norms at all times.
iv. Cleaning and disinfection of gymnasium equipment, particularly frequently touched surfaces (handrails, benches, fixtures, etc.) shall be done after each exercise session before it is used by the next member.
v. The floor cleaning shall be taken up between exercise sessions.