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PROVIDENCE, RI — Rhode Island is set to enter phase two of reopening Monday, bringing the return of gyms, hair salons and other businesses that have been shuttered for months due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, the state released guidelines for gyms to safely reopen.
"You can go back to the gym, but like everything else in our life it's going to be different.," Gov. Gina Raimondo said.
As with other reopened businesses, gyms will face strict restrictions on capacity and operation, with requirements for frequent cleaning.
A summary of regulations is listed below.
Reservations will be recommended to reduce crowding.
Locker rooms will be closed.
Class attendees are asked to stay in the same class to avoid seeing different groups of people each day.
Classes will be limited to 15 people or fewer.
Frequent cleaning will be required, especially of high-touch surfaces and equipment.
As with restaurants, gym users will be required to provide their name and phone number for the Rhode Island Department of Health in case there is an outbreak.
Social distancing will be encouraged.
Close-contact activities such as boxing will not be allowed during this phase.
Gym attendees will be asked to wear a fabric face covering while exercising. Those who refuse will be required to stay at least 14 feet away from others.
These restrictions, like those in place in other industries, will be further lifted in phase three, Raimondo said. The reopening process has been going well in Rhode Island compared to other states, she said, in part because of residents' commitment to following the rules.
"We are ahead of everyone," Raimondo said of the opening process."Why? Because I trust you to do the right thing and follow the rules."
Patch Editor Scott Souza contributed to this report.