Restaurants, bars, and fitness clubs were closed again on November 3, 2020. Retail is currently open with restrictions on the number of customers allowed inside. There is also an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. It is very challenging for clubs to devise definitive protocols or financial/business planning as government requirements are continually being revised.
As of mid-January, the Austrian government has extended the lockdown into at least early February, Reuters reported. This has been further extended until after April 5 with a review in March 2021.
Clubs are closed again from October 29, 2020, with no indicative date given for reopening. No indoor or outdoor group fitness activities, including personal training, is permitted. Protocols and guidelines can be accessed on IHRSA National Federation Fitness BE on fitness.be. (Source: Eric Vandenabeele, Executive Director, FitnessBE)
Still no news on reopening as of February 22, 2021.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Quarantine measures relaxed on 24 April, allowing senior citizens and children to leave home every second day for several hours. But on 29 April it was decided to reinstate the night curfew during the three-day Labour Day holidays and ban gatherings of more than five people. Still no news on reopening as of February 22, 2021.
Health clubs/gyms were closed again from November 27 until January 31. As of February 1, shopping malls, cinemas, gyms, and dance schools in Bulgaria are allowed to reopen as part of the Health Ministry easing measures against the spread of COVID-19, but with restrictions in place.
Sport and recreational activities are suspended until May 4. From May 11 up to ten people will be allowed to gather in the same place on the condition of physical distancing. As at November 28, 2020, health clubs closed until further notice.
The health ministry and the Cyprus Sports Organization have come together to draft a plan aiming to gradually lift restrictions applied to sports in Cyprus.
“...In the first phase of the plan, individual training involving a maximum number of five persons, including their trainer or coach (4+1), will be permitted in outdoors training facilities, including open air swimming pools. In terms of gyms and other indoor training centres, they will be allowed to operate with a maximum number of five persons, including a trainer or coach (4+1), signifying that their reopening during phase one is aimed at professional and national team athletes, not the general public. Furthermore, 50 per cent of all participating individuals will need to be subjected to mandatory Covid-19 tests on a weekly basis. The mandatory testing requirement does not include children under the age of 12. The current requirement of sending an SMS text (number 6) to gain permission to exercise or train will remain in place.”
Fitness centers officially reopened April 27, 2020, in the Czech Republic. They operated with capacity restrictions of one person per 10-square-meters, group indoor lessons with maximum capacity of eight clients plus one instructor, and locker rooms and showers closed. During exercise, wearing a face mask was mandatory, as well as disinfection of fitness machines after use of every client. The Czech government began lifting restrictions in waves. From May 11, 2020, the maximum capacity of the fitness center was increased to 100 persons at one time. For more information, see IHRSA National Federation Manual for Reopening (English version). Wearing a face mask is not mandatory anymore. From December 18, 2020, clubs are closed again until further notice.
Outdoor, self-organised exercise allowed for individuals, pairs, and groups under 10 people. DGI and the Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF) announced on 20 April that non-contact outdoor sports clubs (e.g. golf and tennis) could reopen. Changerooms, gyms, and indoor facilities remain closed again from December 9, 2020.
From January 18, gyms have reopened but only individual exercise is allowed, with further restrictions in some cities.
Individual outdoor exercises are allowed. The Finnish government announced its "hybrid" reopening strategy on May 4, 2020. It plans to reopen outdoor facilities on May 14, 2020, and allow sports competitions to resume from June 1. A gradual reopening of indoor facilities such as swimming pools, sports facilities, leisure and youth centers started on June 1. Clubs are still open as of February 22 but with strict protocols in place and some regional closures.
A national lockdown was announced by French President Emmanuel Macron on October 28 to take effect from October 30 until December 1. All businesses classed as non-essential are to be closed. Fitness clubs are classified as non-essential. Legal action has been initiated by some club companies and recent protests by the French Fitness Association and club owners in Paris and Marseille following local restrictions. Clubs were expected to reopen on January 20, but as announced on January 16, clubs along with many other businesses are closed indefinitely along with curfews. (Source: Christophe Andanson, Planet Fitness Group (France)/Les Mills, IHRSA Europe Council, and the French Government)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a nationwide lockdown on October 28, 2020, in response to the rising number of cases in Europe. Germany began a four-week shutdown of restaurants, bars, cinemas, and fitness facilities on November 2. The lockdown was scheduled to end on November 30, but has now been extended until further notice
Clubs have to be fully closed, with only outdoor 1-on-1 personal training permitted in public areas and not on private premises.For more resources, visit DSSV, an IHRSA National Federation partner.
As of May 4, 2020, people were allowed to move freely, as long as this is within their own prefecture. Personal exercise will be allowed in open areas and at beaches, except for organized beaches, which will remain shut. Sports events are likely to be cancelled.
Since November 3, 2020, clubs closed again with no reopening date announced.
Hungary began lifting restrictions on May 4, 2020, last year. Sports training for professionals and amateurs is now allowed "behind closed doors" and matches will be allowed to resume without spectators. All parks and open air baths are open to the public. Curfews and restrictions still apply in Budapest and Pest County. Since November 9, clubs closed again with no reopening date announced.
Self-organized exercise and organized sport outdoors is allowed for individuals and groups of up four people. Public gatherings (including student groups of all ages) was raised from 20 to 50 people on May 4. Gyms, swimming pools, and indoor sports clubs reopened on May 25 and public gatherings of up to 200 people were permitted.
Beginning October 31, 2020, a new set of restrictions went into effect. Sport activities are not allowed and swimming pools are closed. The gathering limit has been decreased to 10. Clubs have since reopened.
Health and fitness clubs as well as sports and aquatics facilities were permitted to reopen on December 2 despite the highest level 5 restrictions being introduced since October 21. Level 5 restrictions have been changed a number of times in recent weeks and as of December 31, clubs and sports facilities were closed again. Further restrictions were added from January 6 to include schools delaying reopening until at least February 1. From a number of recent statements made by An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and An Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister), it is expected that most of the “lockdown” will remain in place until the end of March. Further statements by the government in late January indicate that restaurants and hospitality could be closed until late May, but gyms/sports/fitness facilities have not been mentioned.
Israel lifted many of its coronavirus restrictions and started reopening its economy on February 21, 2021, as the country’s vaccination drive and third nationwide lockdown have started to bring down infections.
Gyms, pools, cinemas, and restaurants are reopening for people who have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
Israel unveiled its plan to allow those who have been vaccinated to attend cultural events, fly abroad and patronize restaurants and health clubs by using a “green badge” app.
After striking a deal with Pfizer to trade data for doses, Israel’s vaccine campaign became the world’s speediest in the past two months.
Almost half of the country’s population of 9.3 million have received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and nearly 3 million have had their second vaccination.
Gyms originally reopened May 25, 2020, after one of the strictest lockdowns globally. While they were open, gym members were required to wear a mask on their way in, but not while working out, and each piece of equipment was disinfected after every use. People must keep a two-meter distance between each other at all times. Swimming pool users must have at least 7-square-meters of space to themselves, and keep at least a meter and a half away from other swimmers. Swimming pools and gyms must keep a record of who has attended for at least two weeks, which is the virus' incubation period.
Increased national restrictions closed gyms from October 25 originally for a minimum of four weeks, but are now extended until March 5, 2021, at the earliest. Outside fitness is permitted and swimming pools for competitive training. Italy approved the latest stimulus package to help pandemic-hit businesses.
Clubs have closed again since December 21, 2020, with no reopening date yet announced.
The government began to relax its measures from April 27, 2020, with sport clubs and fitness centers now open.
Some restrictions were eased after May 31, 2020. Sport clubs and outdoor events with maximum 30 participants were allowed to open from May 18. Clubs have closed again since November 6, 2020, with no reopening date yet announced
Fitness centers, swimming pools, and dance schools can reopen starting next week if the latest law on COVID-19 mitigation measures is decided by Friday.
After the prime minister announced the reopening of nonessential shops from January 11, Sports Minister Dan Kersch (LSAP) issued clarification to the Luxembourg parliament’s sport commission on what Bill 7743 will mean for sports activities.
Minister Kersch said that the risk of coronavirus infection during sporting activities was less likely than through social activities. It means that while sports will resume with some restrictions, activities like carpooling to go to training and post-training gatherings will be forbidden.
Under the draft law, individual sport and two-person sports can go ahead without restrictions.
A maximum of 10 people can come together to practise a sports activity at the same time as long as there is a permanent physical distance of at least 2 meters between sports players. Wearing a mask is not mandatory.
It also means it will be possible to gather up to 10 people in a park to practise yoga while respecting the distance of 2 meters per person.
Sports facilities will be able to reopen their doors to the public, provided they have a minimum area of 15m2 for sports activities performed individually, at least 50m2 for activities performed by a maximum of two people and at least 300m2 for activities performed by a maximum of 10 people. As an example, the minister said three groups of 10 people can practise sports simultaneously in a sports hall with a surface area of 900m2 divided into three lots by a wall or a separation barrier. Coaches (and referees) must be included in the number of 10 people.
Regarding outdoor field sports like football, the sports ministry is expected to publish a list of recommendations, which will include respecting a distance of 20 meters per group of 10 people (without mixing the groups).
Swimming pools will be allowed to accommodate a maximum number of six bathers per 50-meter lane and three per 25-meter lane.
Changing rooms and showers will be accessible to the public provided they do not exceed 10 people per changing room/shower and keep a distance of 2 meters. The wearing of a mask is compulsory in the changing rooms. (Source)
Health clubs are open.
Health clubs are reopened.
Moldova has been operating a state of emergency since May 15, 2020. The government reopened parks on April 27, 2020, so residents are allowed to go for a walk/run or to do other physical activity. Sports facilities and playgrounds and other public movement spaces are still closed, as well as all sports clubs and gyms. People can gather in groups of three maximum (exceptions are families and people living together).
The Dutch government had announced a step-by-step reopening of public spaces from May 11, 2020. Children up to 12 years old can exercise together under supervision. Young people from 13 to 18 years old are allowed to exercise outside with each other under supervision, but with a distance of 1.5 meters between them. Outdoor sports in groups are allowed for all ages, if a 1.5-meter distance can be kept. No competitions, shared changing rooms or showers are allowed. Official matches and competitions were not allowed. Municipalities will make agreements with local sports clubs and community sports coaches. Different municipalities may opt for different approaches. Indoor fitness clubs, gyms and sports clubs were not allowed to open until September 1.
Beginning October 14, 2020, the Netherlands entered a national partial-lockdown. A further full lockdown was introduced from December 15 and now extended until at least March 2, 2021.
Health clubs are closed in some regions with a reopening date to come.
The public was able to use open sports facilities from May 4, 2020. The government is implementing a gradual relaxation of restrictions in grassroots sports, including sport classes in schools, sport and fitness facilities and outdoor sports events with up to 50 participants, without spectators. Due to new outbreaks, all gyms/pools have closed since October 19, 2020, awaiting a reopening announcement.
Portugal has imposed regional lockdowns on three northern districts, affecting about 150,000 people and banned people across the country from all non-essential domestic travel between 31 October and 2 November. Additionally, masks are mandated in public for everyone over the age of 9 and commercial businesses across the country are required to close by 23:00. Health clubs have been closed since January 15, 2021.
Lockdown was gradually lifted after May 14, 2020, enabling people to move freely within localities. People will be allowed to do outdoor sports but in groups no larger than three persons. However, this restriction will be waived for professional athletes, who will be able to train in groups, under special conditions. Sports competitions will not resume yet.
Indoor pools are not allowed and there is restricted access to fitness clubs (in terms of the number of people who can be in the gym either one at a time or participate in classes). Group fitness classes and PT sessions can take place but with a reduced number of people.
The two largest Russian cities, Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, have extended the coronavirus lockdown until 31 May. The government is working out a 3-stage plan on lifting restrictions, first allowing people to go for walks and exercise on the streets, and opening parks and other recreational facilities in the third stage.
Serbia lifted its restrictions on May 7, 2020, and allowed gyms and fitness centers, parks and public areas intended for recreation and sports to reopen, subject to Serbian government regulations. Residents may move freely outside, but are recommended to stay indoors as much as possible. But temporarily, Serbia’s president announced the reintroduction of a lockdown after the Balkan country reported its highest single-day death toll from coronavirus. President Aleksandar Vucic called the virus situation in the Serbian capital of Belgrade “alarming” and “critical” as the city’s hospitals neared their capacity limits. Vucic said the government would reimpose a curfew as of Friday, July 10. He said it will “probably” last from 6 p.m. on Friday until 5 a.m. on Monday, July 13.
Health clubs have been closed since October 15, 2021, reopening announcement is to come.
All clubs in Slovenia were closed again with a further extension until February 16, 2021.
South Africa is still under Level 4 restrictions, but residents were allowed to exercise outside again after 5 weeks on 1 May. There are still strict curfews, so exercise outside is only permitted between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.
Clubs are currently facing financial problems that we will see in the coming months. For now, there is no talk of permanent closures. Regarding the closure, in some states the government has begun a new lockdown that includes the closure of facilities.
Clubs are currently open but following the declaration of a National State of Emergency. From 26 October, clubs have been closed in Catalonia and other regions are expected to follow.
Prior to the current state of emergency, the government and the autonomous communities reached an agreement in the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System to establish a common protocol for gyms and sports centers. This is because, after the central government left the management of the pandemic in the hands of the regions, sanitary measures were different in each community. By lifting the state of emergency and allowing the regions to direct the protocols, the regulations turned into chaos. In Catalonia, there is a capacity limit of 50%, in Navarra 30%. In some places they enabled the use of changing rooms and in others not, in an autonomous community they allow group classes of six clients and 10 in others.
In early February 2021, Catalan operators received the go-ahead to open again, albeit at 30% capacity and with up to six people for group exercise. Substantial restrictions on traffic remain in place in other regional markets in Spain, and clubs in the Valencian community will not get started again until February 15 at the earliest. (Source: Fitness News Europe, Issue 122)
Outdoor exercise allowed for all. Adult sports matches and tournaments are suspended, but training indoors and outdoors (recommended) is allowed for individuals and groups of under 50 persons. From April 17, 2020, children under 18 can participate in matches and tournaments again. People aged over 70 are advised not to participate in indoor group sports. Gyms remain open according to strict hygiene rules (commercial chain SATS closed for two weeks in March).
Health clubs are closed again until at least the end of February 2021.
Lockdowns on weekends are expected to continue until late May. During the week, only citizens 20-65 years old are allowed to go out. Public places like parks are off limits, sports facilities are also closed. From 11 May, it was announced that more people of different age groups will be gradually allowed to go out within limited walking distances, but now lockdown has been extended again until 19 May.
Sport clubs and fitness centers reopened on January 25, 2021.
With the latest new strain of coronavirus, a "Tier 4" has been introduced in England, which means sports, fitness, health clubs in Tier 4 regions are closed. This is effectively a “stay-at-home” order. The latest details on closures and stimulus packages for all four U.K. nations is in this link from our partners at UK Active. Clubs are still closed as of February 22, 2021, with an imminent announcement expected, related to the increased vaccine rollout and a reopening plan.