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Bengaluru: Give relief or keep us open, say gyms | News from Bengaluru

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BENGALURU: The decision of the state governments to close the gyms as part of the new Covid control measures has not gone well with the operators of the fitness studio in Bengaluru.
A segment already facing job losses and closures, fitness centers are now facing angry new clients who are demanding a return on the membership fee.
The Karnataka Gymnasium and Fitness Owners Association on Saturday demanded that the government either announce a financial relief package to support gym operators or allow them to run their business at 50 percent capacity.
The intention of the governments is obvious, but it does not make sense to close businesses by quoting Covid, even at a time when fitness operators are in the recovery phase, the association said.
People use gyms to improve fitness and immunity. So it is ironic that the government wants such spaces to be closed, said AV Ravi, the association’s president.
Ravi noted that the blockade has already led to the closure of over 2,000 gyms across Karnataka.
About 7,500 gymnasiums are watching the permanent closure, he said. It is estimated that 1.5 lakh people, including trainers and other staff, are employed in the fitness industry.
Many lost their jobs during the initial blockage. The latest move would push some others to the brink of losing their jobs, Ravi added.
Owners, who have been struggling to get their fitness business back on track, have been facing customer outrage since the government ordered the gyms closed.
Many of those who registered a week or two ago are seeking their money back, Ravi said.
He clarified that the association was not against the governments’ decision to curb the spread.
When restaurants and cinemas run with 50 per cent turnout, why can’t gyms function the same way, he asked.
Gymnasiums in Karnataka raise revenue of about 20 crore.
We pay taxes to the government. No relief was provided when the blockage was announced. Many of them end their business as they were unable to pay rent and staff salaries, said Harish S, Addict Fitness’s operations manager in Banashankari.
Bharath Balasubramanya, secretary of the fitness owners association, said the gymnasiums strictly adhered to Covid protocols mandated by the government.

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