Dave Blondin, the owner of Prime Fitness and Nutrition in Oxford, decided to open Monday in defiance of the governor’s order.
Massachusetts Gym Reopens Despite Gov. Baker’s Order
Baker announced Monday that gyms are in phase three of the plan, which means they will not be allowed to reopen for another six weeks at the earliest.
“I believe it’s a choice,” Blondin said. “If you want to work out, you should work out. If you don’t want to work out, then don’t work out.”
Blondin has taken some precautions to protect his 800 gym members amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He has banned members from bringing guests and is not allowing new members at this time. He is also offering extra cleaning supplies to his members and is limiting the number of people inside at one time to 25% of the gym’s capacity.
It did appear, however, that face coverings and proper social distancing were not requirements.
Police and town health officials issued Blondin a verbal warning Monday afternoon. They said that he would be fined every day that he keeps his gym open, but Blondin is not backing down.
“In my opinion, it’s worth me fighting for my rights in the Constitution,” Blondin said. “People’s mental health is severely declining.”
Prime Fitness is believed to be the first gym in the state to defy Baker’s orders. Blondin claims that police officers, including Massachusetts State Police troopers, were among the clients that worked out at his gym on Monday.