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Montreal Gym Owners Are Concerned About The Possibility Of Getting Shut Down Again

Quebec City, Lévis and Gatineau are 'on pause' — but, right now, Montreal is stable.

Gyms were open for about three weeks in Quebec City, Lévis and Gatineau before they had to shut down for a ten-day pause — along with all non-essential businesses — as COVID-19 cases surged. Now, some Montreal gym owners are concerned that the same could happen locally.

"Absolutely, it's very worrying," said Nadia Verchinskaia who owns the Sud-Ouest location of 30 Minute Hit. 

Editor's Choice: Mega Fitness Gym In Quebec City Is Now Linked To At Least 141 COVID-19 Cases

"Of course there is always that concern [...] it is a burden to have to put a halt on your business so many times in one year. People don't have as much appetite for online training and you don't get to observe your client as well as you'd like," said Yaz Cissé, owner of Yaz Body Shop in NDG. 

Cissé also said the government should "do better" to ensure rules are explained more clearly and implemented more fairly. For example, he said personal training studios should not be lumped in with large commercial gyms

Both Verchinskaia and Cissé told MTL Blog the key to staying open is following all health and safety protocols — unlike the Quebec City gym linked to 141 COVID-19 cases, where officials discovered "sanitary shortcomings." 

But, according to Aaron Wilson, co-founder of Rebl Union fitness studio in Griffintown, not all of the city's gyms are doing that. 

"We're dismayed and angered by the unethical practice of some gyms in the city [...] We're seeing many gyms on social media not respecting social distancing or the amount of people allowed per square metre in their space," he said. 

"These unethical practices will push gyms to closure once again. Not only will this force small businesses like ours to further suffer, but it also makes a mockery of what we are here to do as health professionals." 

For now, Wilson said it's "one day at a time." 

While Premier François Legault did not rule out putting more areas on pause, he said earlier this week that Montreal's COVID-19 situation is stable