Restaurants, bars, and fitness clubs were closed again on 3 November. 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.
Clubs are closed again from 29 October 2020 with no indicative date given for reopening. No fitness indoor or outdoor 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)
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.
By Order No. RD-01-143 / 20.03.2020, the Minister of Health suspended visits to parks, urban gardens, sports and children's playgrounds, and facilities in open and closed public places. Now visits to urban parks and gardens are allowed during specified periods of time and only for dog owners and children up to 12 years old with accompanying adults (no more than 2 persons). There is still a ban on visits to outdoor and indoor public and outdoor playgrounds and facilities. Individual outdoor sports activities are allowed from 4 May, but not competitions. Athletes are allowed to do individual training.
Sport and recreational activities were suspended until 4 May. From 11 May, up to 10 people will be allowed to gather in the same place on the condition of physical distancing.
Gyms, casinos, and other recreational activities resumed on 13 June, around three months after the lockdown was imposed.
Gyms will operate at half of their capacity and only with reservations. Changing rooms and shower areas must remain closed.
Swimming pools will be allowed more swimmers per square metre of surface water under updated regulations issued by the Health Ministry on July 6. Previously, the stringent protocols stipulated that in the case of outdoor pools, only one swimmer would be permitted for every 5 square metres of surface water. For indoor pools, the rule was one swimmer for every 10 square metres of surface water. This has now changed and outdoor pools can have one swimmer for every 2.5 square metres of surface water and for indoor pools, one for every 5 square metres. The 2 metres distancing rule remains in force. The new rules come into effect one month after the launch of Phase 3 of the relaxation of restrictions, which included the opening of swimming pools. Regulations cover personal hygiene of staff and users, checks on the quality of the water, disinfection of premises and rules for changing rooms, among others. They require all swimmers to wear a swimming cap. Spectators must comply with the 2 metre distancing rule on the stands and must remain in those areas and not enter the swimmers’ areas. The exterior of the swimming pool should have signs on the floor so that swimmers can easily maintain a 2 metre distance. Use of changing rooms and showers should be in line with decrees while tables and sunbeds in outdoor pools are permitted provided they are 2 metres apart. Management must ensure they are cleaned and disinfected every time there is a new user. (Reference)
As regards other types of sports, the health ministry’s protocol stipulates that until 28 June there can be no contact between two athletes in indoor spaces such as punching in martial arts, or shoulder-to-shoulder contact in claiming the ball between rival teams in futsal games.
Fitness centers officially reopened 27 April in the Czech Republic. They operated with capacity restrictions of one person per 10 square metres, 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 11 May, 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 25 May, facilities did operate practically without restrictions, clubs have been ordered to close again starting 9 October. Additional restrictions on gatherings have been increased to a limit of 10 people indoors and 20 outdoors. Other non-essential businesses and schools in the country are closed, and a mask mandate has been reintroduced.
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.
Individual outdoor exercises (max 2 persons) have been allowed throughout quarantine. All indoor organised sports are still banned with no concrete deadline. It is allowed from 2 May to use outdoor playgrounds and sports facilities, but some municipalities (Tallinn) impose restrictions.
Individual outdoor exercises are allowed. The Finnish government announced its "hybrid" reopening strategy on 4 May. It plans to reopen outdoor facilities on 14 May and allow sports competitions to resume from 1 June. A gradual reopening of indoor facilities such as swimming pools, sports facilities, leisure and youth centres will also start on 1 June. There will be a 50-person limit to public gatherings, which included sporting events.
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 28 October in response to the rising number of cases in Europe. Germany began a four-week shutdown of restaurants, bars, cinemas, and fitness facilities on 2 November. The lockdown was scheduled to end on 30 November, but has now been extended into 2021.
Clubs have to be fully closed, with only outdoor 1-on-1 personal training permitted only in public areas, not on private premises.
As of 4 May, people may move freely, as long as it is within their own prefecture. Personal exercise will be allowed in open areas and at beaches, except for organised beaches, which will remain shut. Sports events are likely to be cancelled.
In October, new restrictions to stop the spread of the virus were announced including a curfew in Athens and the surrounding areas, and a mask requirement both indoors and outdoors in public places.
Hungary began lifting restrictions on 4 May. 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.
Self-organised exercise and organised sport outdoors is allowed for individuals and groups of up 4 people. Public gatherings (including student groups of all ages) was raised from 20 to 50 people on 4 May. Gyms, swimming pools, and indoor sports clubs reopened on 25 May and public gatherings of up to 200 people were permitted.
Beginning 31 October, 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.
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 reimposed on Monday, 6 July, a series of restrictions to fight a spike in coronavirus infections, including the immediate closure of bars, night clubs, gyms, and event halls.
Gyms originally reopened 25 May 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-metre distance between each other at all times. Swimming pool users must have at least seven square metres of space to themselves, and keep at least a metre 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 25 October for a minimum of four weeks with bars/restaurants allowed open until 6 p.m. Italy approved latest stimulus package to help pandemic-hit business.
The state of emergency is extended until 9 June. From 12 May, gathering indoors and outdoors is permitted with no more than 25 participants. Indoor events can last no longer than 3 hours, outdoor events are no longer limited in hours. Sports and other leisure venues are restricted to working hours (7:00 until 24:00) It is also permitted to conduct sports training under certain conditions.
The government began to relax its measures from 27 April, but sport clubs and fitness centres remain closed.
Lockdown extended until 31 May, but some restrictions have been eased. Sports clubs opening and outdoor events with maximum 30 participants will be allowed from 18 May. From 30 April, outdoor leisure activities are allowed in open areas, with groups of two families or smaller. Golf and outdoor tennis, outdoor shooting, and water sports have already been permitted.
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)
All people aged over 65, pregnant women, and others who suffer from particular medical conditions have been ordered to stay at home. The first relaxation measures came into force 4 May, including permission for gatherings of up to 4 persons. Local councils are now encouraged to open up their streets and public squares to pedestrians and cyclists and make some streets car-free.
Moldova is operating a state of emergency until 15 May. It is not known yet if it will be prolonged, but the situation is stabilising. The government reopened parks on 27 April, 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 3 maximum (exceptions are families and people living together).
The Dutch government has announced a step-by-step reopening of public spaces 11 May. 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 from 11 May, if a 1.5-meter distance can be kept. No competitions, shared changing rooms or showers are allowed. Official matches and competitions will not be 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 may not be allowed to open until 1 September.
Beginning 14 October, the Netherlands entered a national partial-lockdown. A further full lockdown was introduced from 15 December until 19 January 2021.
From 7 May, gatherings and sports activities will be possible in a public place with up to 50 people keeping a minimum 1-meter distance. Sports activities can also resume training following strict health recommendations. Contact sports with high risk of transmitting infection are still not allowed, changerooms remain closed and sports equipment should not be shared. The government is also considering allowing events of up to 200 people from 15 June.
The public is able to use open sports facilities from 4 May. 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 19 October.
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.
Lockdown will be gradually lifted after 14 May, 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.
The two largest Russian cities, Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, have extended the coronavirus lockdown until 31 May. Starting 12 May, residents will be required to wear face masks and gloves in all public places and transport. 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 7 May and now allows gyms and fitness centres, 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, 10 July. He said it will “probably” last from 6 p.m. on Friday until 5 a.m. on Monday, 13 July.
Sports grounds were reopened 22 April for non-contact sports (food/drinks are not allowed, changerooms are closed). Lockdown will be eased in four stages, with stages 2 and 3 expected to be implemented earlier than planned. Stage 4 will include opening of swimming pools, indoor sport venues, and sports events.
All clubs in Slovenia are currently closed again with a further extension until at least 16 December. Only sports activities are allowed for professional athletes. With a few exceptions, people are not allowed to cross from one region into another, with few exceptions, including to travel to work or seek emergency medical care. The same rules apply for travel across national borders. All religious ceremonies, weddings, and events have been prohibited. Public transport is still running, shops and shopping malls remain open. Masks are mandatory both indoors and in public spaces across the country. Gatherings of a maximum of six people are permitted with exceptions for those living in the same household.
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.
When clubs are open, the coordinated anti-COVID-19 action plan established a roadmap to act in the event of outbreaks and set several scenarios that gyms may face, depending on the epidemiological situation and the level of saturation of health. In this action plan, there are three alert levels: sports centers may open with 75% of the capacity at level 1, always guaranteeing social distancing. In the second, the capacity will be reduced to 50%, while, in the case of reaching the third level, the capacity must be limited to one third of the capacity of the premises. (Source: IHRSA Partner, Management Around Sports)
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 17 April, 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 2 weeks in March). Sports associations can apply to the government for compensation until 15 May (500 million SEK total crisis package).
Restrictions on grassroots sport were lifted on 11 May, when training in all sports and other activities can resume, following strict guidelines. Sports activity may only take place in small groups with a maximum of 5 people, without physical contact and in compliance with hygiene and distance rules. Competitions are also not allowed, but professional sport may resume on 8 June. A decision will be made on 27 May depending on the development of the pandemic.
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.
Quarantine is in place until 22 May, and measures are to be eased starting from 11 May: parks, squares, recreation areas will be open for visitors; training of athletes of national teams and individual training will be allowed. Currently, it is prohibited to exercise outdoors. Sport clubs and fitness centres are closed.
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.