Quebec's gym owners call on government for plan to reopen
MONTREAL -- Gym owners are the latest group asking the Quebec government when they'll get to reopen.
Many gym owners say they've been forgotten, and believe getting back into business will be good for everyone's wellbeing.
"It's very difficult. Not a lot of people are going to survive. Physical trainers are the last people being talked about," said Richard Ho, the head coach and owner of H2O MMA Gym in Ville-Emard.
Ho has been offering online lessons throughout the pandemic, but they don't pay the bills. He said he simply wants provincial officials to tell him what he needs to do, so he can reopen safely and help people get fit and healthy.
"We're really doing something great that I think will ... make us stronger in the fight on COVID, and any illness, but especially this illness," he said.
Many gym owners demonstrated outside the National Assembly in Quebec City Tuesday to show the government they can get people moving and keep their distance.
"We can apply the rules just the same as restaurants will have to do, retail, department stores had to do," said Mathieu Corriveau, owner of CrossFit Lac-Beauport.
The province stopped short of giving a date for when gyms can reopen, saying only that it will be in a few weeks.
Quebec's public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, said the government is weighing the risks and drafting a plan.
"We understand that when you are in a gym, you are touching a lot of things and risk of contamination could be higher, but we are working on protocols to help gyms to open in a safe manner," said Arruda.