Class sizes will be reduced and grids mark your spot on the floor. (Virgin Active)
  • The first gyms have started to open their doors this week, as part of South Africa's move to lockdown level 2.
  • The big groups suspended membership debit orders over recent months. 
  • Virgin Active is allowing those who are not ready to return to freeze their membership for another two months.
  • For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Some gyms are reopening in South Africa this week, after being permitted to do business for the first time since the lockdown started.

According to new Level 2 regulations, gyms and fitness centres can reopen under conditions – including that only 50 people will be allowed in a gym at any time.

See also: Gyms may open on Tuesday morning – as long as no more than 50 people are inside at a time

Most of SA's large gym groups have not deducted membership fees during the lockdown, but after being starved of any income for months, they will now start collecting monthly debit orders.

Still, those who are not keen to go back to the gym can expect some reprieve – if you ask for it:

Virgin Active

The country's biggest gym chain, with more than 700,000 members - won't be open this week, as it is still waiting for approval from government on its Covid operational procedures and protocols.

The company told Netwerk24 that it “understood” that some members may not be ready to return. These members can suspend their membership for another two months (September and October) by sending an email to freeze@virginactive.co.za.

In the meantime, Virgin Active offers 350 online exercise classes to its members.

Planet Fitness

The gym group opened its gyms in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday. Its clubs in the Western Cape will reopen on Thursday.

Still, members will get the rest of August for free, and no pro-rata amount will be deducted for this month, a spokesperson told Netwerk24.

The first debit orders will be deducted in September. Members who still are not keen to return can contact its client service or send an email to customerservice@planetfitness.co.za to make new arrangements. Planet Fitness also offers free exercise videos on its website.

Zone Fitness

The gym group still does not know when it will reopen its doors, but says it is "99% ready" to welcome back members.

Members who don't want to return can contact its client services to help freeze their accounts.

Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.

Get the best of our site emailed to you daily: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: