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Gyms during Corona: Where you can work out again

Andreas Rentz / Getty

  • As of this Monday, fitness studios in North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse may reopen.
  • When the sports facilities in the other federal states open again is very different or has not yet been determined.
  • In the gallery you will find out which requirements you have to comply with if you want to go back to training.

Missing movement, more alcohol, more Netflix: Some people may have the corona insulation mutated into a couch potato. And home workouts are also not for everyone and certainly not for the neighbors among us. Since March 16, all sports facilities in Germany have been closed due to the Covid 19 pandemic; in the first federal states, they are allowed to reopen from this Monday.

As the most populous federal state, North Rhine-Westphalia is pushing ahead, and fitness fans can go back to their studios here from May 11th. The rush is apparently large: Photos show long lines of visitors in front of the entrance of the McFit studio in Cologne-Kalk.

At midnight, the McFit studio in Cologne-Kalk reopened. Many members were queuing up.

At midnight, the McFit studio in Cologne-Kalk reopened. Many members were queuing up.

Andreas Rentz / Getty

Since the regulations of the Corona measures are a national matter, there are no nationwide uniform standards. Some federal states are still in negotiations about when the sports facilities may open again. In some federal states, decisions are even made individually depending on the district and city.

When fitness studios open in the individual federal states:

  • Baden-Württemberg: from Pentecost 2020
  • Bavaria: June 2020
  • Berlin: not specified
  • Brandenburg: not specified
  • Bremen: in consultation
  • Hamburg: in consultation
  • Hesse: May 15, 2020
  • Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: June 15, 2020
  • Lower Saxony: May 25, 2020 (planned)
  • North Rhine-Westphalia: May 11, 2020
  • Rhineland-Palatinate: in consultation
  • Saarland: in consultation
  • Saxony: May 18, 2020
  • Saxony-Anhalt: not specified
  • Schleswig-Holstein: May 18, 2020
  • Thuringia: Cities and districts decide individually

The easing comes after a number of fitness companies, represented by the German Industrial Association for Fitness and Health e.V. (DIFG), presented a concept for reopening last week that was written by scientists from the Technical University of Munich and the IST University of Düsseldorf.

The concept contains a five-point plan according to which the sports facilities can gradually reopen under certain conditions. The initiative gathers under the campaign “Health needs fitness”.

The plan, which is available to, essentially provides the following five points:

  1. Employee training
  2. Information for members
  3. Adaptation of the gym operation
  4. Protection of COVID-19 risk groups through information and special protective measures
  5. Procedure planning in the case of a corona-positive person

In an enclosed checklist, the scientists explained what all this would mean in concrete terms in the studios. The hygiene and infection protection standards set up by the state government in North Rhine-Westphalia are largely based on the suggestions made by the scientists.

From mouthguard to distance rules to blocked showers: In the picture gallery you will find the most important requirements that now apply in fitness studios in North Rhine-Westphalia and are probably implemented in a similar way in most federal states:

As of today, these requirements apply in gyms

Probably the most obvious recommendation of the scientists: Clean and disinfect more often and place more disinfectant dispensers everywhere. First of all, however, the operators would have to ensure that devices, equipment and facilities are converted in such a way that a safety distance of at least 1.5 meters is ensured. The reception, like the cash registers in the supermarket, should be equipped with plexiglass protection.

Always a distance of 1.5 meters between mats, devices and studio users

As a result, temporary admission restrictions for those present in the gym would have to be introduced. The scientists do not recommend more than one person per ten square meters of studio space. This also applies to courses: Here, one participant per eight square meters in the course room is recommended. The exercise mats should also be at least 1.5 meters apart.

Small studios such as boutique fitness studios and yoga studios in particular should be hit hard. Here, the mats of the course participants often lie close together with only a few centimeters between them. The number of participants would then have to be significantly reduced. This also means less income per course. It is questionable whether the costs for the restart would be worth it.

Mask requirement for sports

Members and staff alike should be required to wear a face mask, or at least recommended to wear it.

The initiative is supported by fitness providers such as Urban Sports Club, Clever Fit, the German Vocational Academy for Sport and Health, FitX, Life Fitness, Matric and Technogym.

Benjamin Roth, co-founder of Urban Sports Club, says of the catalog of measures: “Of course, the measures are tough, because the effort to take the precautions is great.” For many, the online live courses are the Fitness aggregator launched in the isolation period continues to be a good solution. These were also very well received, as Roth said in April. “Nevertheless, it would be a great opportunity for everyone to start up the offers in the studios themselves – especially to help many people who are suffering from isolation,” says the founder. Read Too

With livestream fitness courses against short-time work and layoffs: This is how Urban Sports Club wants to get through the corona crisis


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