Treadmills in a gym
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • It's official: gyms may open on Tuesday morning.
  • But they're limited to 50 people at a time, just like swimming pools, and bars.
  • Other rules may still be issued for gyms, which have proven to be viral spreading grounds in other countries.
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Gyms in South Africa may open as of 04:00 on Tuesday morning – or as soon after that as their staff can make it to work without breaching curfew – for the first time since lockdown began.

But they will be allowed to open their doors only to 50 people at a time.

Co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Monday gazetted rules for Level 2 lockdown, after President Cyril Ramphosa said on the weekend that most restrictions on the economy would be lifted this week.

The only sector that will remain entirely locked down, as of one minute past midnight on Tuesday, is nightclubs.

The new rules allow for "fitness centres and gyms" to open, subject only to a limitation of 50 people, though further rules may yet be imposed by additional directions.

In various countries, gyms have proven to be big spreading grounds for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Swimming pools too may open with a 50-person limit. There is no such headcount limit for beaches, parks, or sports grounds and sports fields – though spectators at sporting events are banned.

The 50-person limit does apply to bars and shebeens, weddings, cinemas, churches, conferences, and theatres or other forms of live performance.

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