GYMS in TT have been closed again following an increase in covid19 cases over the past few weeks. Some gym owners said Thursday's announcement by the Prime Minister did not come as a surprise, while others expressed disappointment as fitness centres were slowly starting to bounce back.
On Thursday, 328 new cases of covid19 were reported with two new deaths. The figures reflect samples taken from April 26 to 28. TT also crossed 10,000 cases of the virus on Wednesday.
Since March 2020, gyms in TT have been affected by the pandemic. A number of classes such as yoga, spin and aerobics have also felt the brunt of the pandemic.
Newsday contacted gym owners to get their thoughts on the latest restrictions.
Krystan Hosein, owner of One Power Barbell in D’Abadie, Arouca said, “It was something expected. The corona (covid19) infections are actually more than before…I am surprised they took so long.”
Hosein added, “To be honest the gym just started getting back on its feet from the previous lockdown because people still skeptical about gatherings. People were just getting comfortable with corona and what we call the new normal.”
Hosein said people were getting back into a routine.
Hosein, who is a TT powerlifter, said national volleyballers, powerlifters, track and field and table tennis athletes train at One Power Barbell.
One Power Barbell is a small gym serving 15 to 20 people at once before covid19. Hosein said one personal trainer assists clients at the gym, therefore he will be affected.
Derrick Simon, one of the owners of Asylum Training Centre in Diego Martin, said, “We have been continuously living in a space that this (lockdown) could happen. I don’t think anybody should have not been prepared for this.”
Simon said his gym has been transitioning to online classes so Asylum would not be greatly affected.
“It has been a disruption, but I think with technology we kind of taper that off a bit.”
Simon said some of their programmes are being done outdoors to keep clients active. Asylum could comfortably accommodate 15 people at a time before the pandemic.
Kahlil Ramsubhag, managing director of The Bar by ‘The Beast’ in Grand Bazaar, said, “We did not even get a chance to catch ourselves in terms of the economics of the situation.”
Ramsubhag said someone’s health will help them fight the virus and gyms play a part. “You have numerous research coming out now saying that somebody’s health is directly linked to their immunity, their ability to withstand contraction of the virus.”
Ramsubhag said his gym has not cut staff despite financial losses.
A South gym owner, who wanted to remain anonymous, was not pleased. “I was very disappointed. We now started to get the gym operating at a point where we were starting to make a little money again.”
He said people were starting to get comfortable exercising at the gym.
Four people are employed at the gym including personal trainers. The South gym owner said, “They are going to be affected because if you not training people you not making money…it is going to affect them very much.”
He understands that the Government is trying to prevent the spread, but more help must be given to those affected.