On August 17th 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that gyms will soon be able to reopen at 33 percent capacity. This decision was made due to the fact that New York currently has a positive rate of less than 1%. Gov Andrew Cuomo noted that gyms will be allowed to begin reopening as early as August 24th.
When gyms reopen, they will not function the same way as they did prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following guidelines will need to be followed in order for gyms to reopen in New York:
1. Capacity will be capped at 33%
2. Individuals will be required to sign in and fill out a health form reporting symptoms and recent exposures
3. Cloth face coverings or masks must be worn at all times when inside the gym
4. Individuals must stay 6 feet apart from each other at all times when inside the gym
5. Equipment must be disinfected after use
6. Cleaning supplies must be available to individuals when inside the gym
7. Indoor classes at the gym may only operate by appointment and at 33% capacity. Social distancing must be maintained in classes
8. No communal water fountains are allowed and communal showers must remain closed
9. Gym must have a proper ventilation system that is in compliance with the guidelines set by the CDC
10. Gyms will be subject to inspection by health departments to ensure they are adhering to the aforementioned guidelines
When will gyms reopen? And how much will gym memberships cost now?
Due to the new guidelines set by Governor Cuomo and health care officials, safety protocols, and distancing regulations, many gyms will not be able to open on August 24th. Before reopening, all gyms are prioritizing the health, safety, and wellbeing of their clients. Due to new protocols, prices of gym memberships may change. Many gyms that are not changing their monthly pricing are offering either free trials or reduced initiation fees to accommodate new members.
Below is a list of updated information regarding some of the most popular gyms in New York City.
When will Equinox reopen in NYC?
Date: Equinox started reopening gyms in NYC on September 2nd.
Membership cost: The price of an Equinox membership varies by location. The fees for a membership at the Columbus Circle Location are $265/month plus $100 initiation fee. While Equinox is not currently offering membership discounts, Equinox is allowing new members to waive the initiation fee and receive a gift card for $100.
Number of locations: There are over 300 Equinox locations, with 40 being in New York. Some areas you can find an Equinox club are Gramercy, Armonk, Scarsdale, Brooklyn Heights, Wall Street, Tribeca, Flatiron and more.
Further information: Equinox’s reopening plan includes temperature checks upon entry, no contact check ins, advanced booking online, and social distancing floor markings
When will Crunch Fitness reopen in NYC?
Date: Crunch reopened most NYC locations on September 2nd.
Membership cost: You can use the Crunch website to get a one-day free trial at one of their locations. For access to all clubs, a membership is $98/month and about $75/month for one location. These prices include a 30% discount. There is also a $30 enrollment fee.
Number of locations: Crunch has over 225 locations across the U.S., Canada, Australia, Spain, and Puerto Rico. In New York, there are locations in Brooklyn, The Bronx, Staten Island and more!
Further information: Reopening plans include contactless check ins, airPHX clean air systems, and thoroughly cleaned or disposable towels / wipes.
When will Planet Fitness reopen in NYC?
Date: Planet Fitness reopened most locations on September 2nd.
Membership cost: Planet Fitness typically has two plans: a PF Black Card for $30/month or a classic membership for $10/month. It is unknown whether prices will change after reopening occurs.
Number of locations: Planet Fitness has over 2,000 locations in the U.S and over 100 locations in New York. These locations are in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, The Bronx and more.
Further information: Planet Fitness has announced that masks will be required at all times and there are maximum capacity restrictions in place. They will also be offering a touches checkin with their mobile app. Daily temperature checks and increased cleaning policies will also be in place. There is also a crowd meter feature on the website to track how crowded the gym is at any given time.
When will Blink reopen in NYC?
Date: Blink gyms in Long Island, Westchester and Upstate NY have already reopened in August. Locations in NYC (including Noho, Fordham, Penn Station, Grand Central and more) reopened on September 2nd.
Membership cost: Blink is offering a free trial for new members. Fees before COVID-19 were about $29/month.
Number of locations: Blink has over 100 locations in The Bronx., Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Upstate NY, Boston, Florida, and more.
Further information: Blink is implementing new safety policies, such as temperature checks, use of Blink App for touchless check in, wiping machines, and 6 ft social distance.
When will New York Sports Clubs (NYSC) reopen in NYC?
Date: NYSC locations in New York reopened on September 1st (Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Long Island) and September 2nd (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan).
Membership cost: NYSC membership cost varies by location. For around $35/month you will get access to your club, $50/month gives you access to all regional clubs, and $99/month will get you access to all clubs. NYSC offers a free trial and it is unknown whether prices will change due to COVD-19.
Number of locations: NYSC has a total of 87 clubs in Brooklyn, Connecticut, Long Island, Manhattan, New Jersey, Queens, Regional New York, and Staten Island/ The Bronx. There are also many Boston Sports Clubs (BSC), Philadelphia Sports Clubs (PSC), and Washington Sports Clubs (WSC).
Further information: NYSC will be requiring customers to fill out a health form when coming to the gym, wear a face mask at all times, and fitness equipment will be cleaned at least 4 times a day.
Which gym should I get a membership at
When deciding which gym to get a membership at, there are several new factors to consider in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Typically when looking for a gym membership, it is important to consider cost, location, benefits, equipment, training/classes, and cleanliness. Now, many people may want to put more of an emphasis on cleanliness when looking for a new gym to join.
Make sure to be on the lookout for the safety protocols of the gym you intend to join. Some specific things to look out for:
Is my gym limiting capacity?
What is my gym doing to ensure proper sanitation?
Will my gym still be worth the cost if some of its functionality is limited?
How do health and temperature checks work at my gym?
Does my gym have a plan in place if a worker tests positive?
At this point, it appears as if Equinox and Crunch fitness have the most comprehensive and thorough reopening plans in place. These plans includes temperature/symptom checks, no contact check ins, advanced booking, thorough cleaning of equipment, social distance requirements, and limited use of communal spaces.
How do I avoid getting coronavirus COVID-19 at the gym?
When deciding whether to go back to the gym, you should take into consideration your personal risks and the health risks of those in your family. There are several ways that you can decrease your chance of contracting or spreading COVID-19 while still working out.
Before you arrive…
Call your gym or check the website to understand the safety precautions they are taking to avoid the spread of COVID-19. You may want to ask about matters such as maximum capacity, wearing a mask, sanitation stations and locker rooms.
Make an appointment if necessary. If making an appointment is not possible, try and go at an off-peak hour. Off peak hours at most gyms are mid day (1-4pm) or late in the evening (after 8:30pm).
Fill your own water bottle at home to avoid drinking from communal water fountains
Bring your own mat so you don’t need to sit on the floor
When you’re at the gym…
Wash your hands upon arrival and departure
Wear a mask. All gyms in New York will require customers to wear masks while exercising. Even if other states do not require wearing a mask, it is highly recommended to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
Sanitize any equipment you may be in contact with before and after use
Avoid using equipment that many people touch or towels provided by the gym
Avoid touching your face, specifically your eyes, nose and mouth
Try to keep a distance between yourself and other individuals at the gym, preferably at least 6 feet
After you leave the gym…
Change your clothing and shower as soon as you return home. You should avoid using the locker rooms and showers at the gym if possible.
Clean your phone, car keys and other personal items you were touching while at the gym