COVID-19: Frustration growing as Oman’s gyms remain closed

Muscat: The closure of gymnasiums and fitness centres across Oman have impacted the very sustenance of such facilities. In a report carried by popular news website, various gym-owners spouted their ire on this matter. After the recent lockdown, when the commercial outlets were announced open, it took many gym-goers and owners by surprise when fitness clubs and gyms were not included in the list, although beauty salons were included.

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An owner of a gym and a healthy food restaurant chain who wished not to be named said that the continued closure of gyms has negatively affected fitness industry. “It has affected us financially and morally as we are accumulating rental expenses with no revenues. The bills and employee salaries, have now gone on a legal recourse due to what’s happening now.”

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The gym owner also called on the need for clearer messages as there were confusion when the commercial activities were resumed after the lockdown. “While we were told by one authority that the sports facilities and such will be opening, the same was denied by another authority.” The fact that some gated residential units and hotels have their gym facilities open also were pointed out by the gym owners.

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Many gym-regulars too were dismayed about the current closure of gyms and fitness clubs. Saira Ashfak, a final year student in College of Banking and Financial Studies, says: “For many of us who don’t miss our gym sessions even if we have to forgo anything else, this closure of more than a month is stifling to say the least. The heat and humidity don’t permit us to do the outdoors for long. This is beginning to effect the morale of our generation.”

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Many gym owners have requested the authorities to consider reopening of gyms as it impacts the ambitious Omani youth who need the training facilities to pursue their sports ambitions, apart from others who pursue a workout to maintain their health.

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