Government urged to rethink decision to keep gyms closed
Fitness centres in the Netherlands have been left furious at the government’s decision for them to remain closed until September. The Prime Minister has pledged to hold talks regarding earlier reopenings.
Government faces calls to reopen gyms
During the government’s coronavirus press conference, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced plans to slowly reopen the country. Over the next two months, restaurants, bars, shops and other services will start to reopen, however, under the current plans, gyms and fitness centres will not be reopened until September 1.
Rutte explained that certain problems regarding hygiene and the cleanliness of gym equipment were the cause of the later opening date. However, NL Actief, the sports trade organisation, called the government’s decision unacceptable. “We are not going to let this drop. The government is leaving 4.000 companies and three million people in the cold,” the organisation said. “We are going all out with our entire network to fight this, and to demand a new compensation ruling for companies and the self-employed in our sector.”
In contrast, the government has said that adults are allowed to practice non-contact sports outside from May 11 and will also allow swimming pools to reopen. Gatherings of up to ten people will also be allowed although social distancing regulations will stay in force.