The Ministry of Health and Welfare on Monday issued a full list of new guidelines for gyms and yoga institutes across the country, which have been allowed to reopen from Wednesday, in tune with the Centre's Unlock 3 phase amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Health Ministry's new set of guidelines emphasize on reducing physical contact between the staff and the visitors at the yoga centres and gyms in view of COVID-19 spreading via respiratory droplets and surface contact. 

It is to be noted that yoga institutes and gyms in containment zones will continue to remain closed until the number of cases in those areas come down. In addition, spas, sauna, steam bath centers and swimming pools are the other few facilities that have still not been given a permit to be reopened during the Unlock 3 phase. 

A few important points from the new guidelines are as follows: 

1) People above 65 years of age and those with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 are not to be allowed to use gyms in closed spaces. 
2) While inside the gym/yoga center premises, visitors must wear face cover or mask at all times. However, a visor may be used as a mask during exercising as breathing can get difficult. 
3) COVID-19 tracker app Aarogya Setu mandatory. 
4) The yoga or gym floor should have space of four metres per person. Equipment must be moved outdoors wherever possible and be kept at a distance of six feet apart. 
5) Accurate direction marking on the walls must be drawn while specific pathways for entering and exiting the building must be created. 
6) The gyms and yoga institutes must follow the temperature setting in the range of 24-30 degree Celsius for air-conditioning and ventilation, with an intake of fresh air being made available as much as possible.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare further stated that sanitiser dispensers and thermal screening devices are a must and need to be installed at the gates of the buildings. Only asymptomatic people including staff are to be allowed to enter. In the event of a person suspected to have been infected, he/she must be lodged in a room or area and are isolated from others. The nearest medical facility must be informed immediately or a call be made to the respective government or district helpline, the Health Ministry said.