While public gyms have been closed in Winnipeg since November, City of Winnipeg employees have been able to use an exclusive fitness centre, open only to them.
"We were not aware that this exemption was granted to us solely by virtue that we are a municipal government,” a written statement from the city to Global News reads.
The unnamed city spokesperson provided other statements that undoubtedly will leave civilian gym owners scratching their heads.
“Provincial health officials advised us that these facilities, used exclusively by City employees, could remain open. These facilities have guidelines in place to help maintain our employees’ health and safety."
“Among them, users are required to respect posted capacity limits and follow physical distancing guidelines of staying two metres/six feet apart.”
Business owners in the city are still unable to open their establishments, even with the same health guidelines in place.
Despite possible easing of restrictions on some health orders, Manitoba's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin doesn't appear to be willing to allow public gyms to operate any time soon, stating: “Gyms, restaurants and organized recreation will be continued to be reviewed for further iterations.”
Across Canada, gym owners are struggling to make ends meet, with a few even willing to defy lockdown orders by opening.
“I want to encourage other fitness facilities to open up,” says owner Mitch Hewison, who operates Futuristic Fitness in Arthur, Ont.
Restrictions on sports, which have typically exempted the training of professional athletes (hence the NBA and NHL operating fully), have even affected pro mixed-martial arts fighters, who were not included in the list of exemptions, forcing Canadian UFC fighters to train in secret.
If you plan on opening your business under lockdown measures, please consider adding your name to our list of businesses doing so, available at www.IWillOpen.com.