Fitness centers react to reopening guidelines

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WLNE) — Peter Mollo says it’s time to get back to in-person workouts safely.

That means he and his staff will be disinfecting his Johnston studio and equipment multiple times a day.

“Business owners want to do the right thing by their clients, want to be safe,” he said. “I just think what they’re putting on us isn’t fair.”

Mollo says requiring people to wear masks while they’re exercising is a problem.

“I’m not saying that we’re going to defy that, but it’s not realistic,” he said. “Especially with the summer being here, I don’t know how safe it is to obstruct someone’s airway.”

Mollo is also concerned about capping his fitness classes at 15 people, even though he has thousands of square feet — both indoors and outdoors — to allow people to spread apart safely.

“I think the people making these decisions should take a step inside the facilities before they throw these guidelines on us,” he said. “Square footage in our facility should be taken into consideration.”

The governor added this afternoon that the state is listening to feedback from fitness professionals after holding a virtual town hall, and is open to flexibility.

She also says she understands the guidelines can’t make everyone happy, but that they’re temporary.

Yet Mollo says the guidelines will make it difficult for some facilities to last much longer.

“Every fitness facility in the state should have some of these restrictions pulled back, so they can survive,” he said. “It’s about survival at this point.”

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Regional News, Rhode Island