Fitness fans can now rejoice as for the first time in over a year, non-contact exercise – like the highly popular “Zumba” – are allowed in fitness venues in areas in Metro Manila under alert level 2.
When the resolution for alert level 2 was issued by the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases), the agency indicated that patrons and workers in the aforementioned establishments are still required to wear face masks.
The fitness venues reopened for a time prior to the major surge in Covid19 cases earlier this year. At the time, they were meant for individual exercises only. It’s the highly transmissible Delta variant that led to them being closed again. The decision was made when they were determined to be at high risk for transmission of the coronavirus.
Outdoor exercises had been allowed such as walking, jogging, and biking. It was restricted to the general residential area of the individual. The Department of Health (DOH) also required face masks to be worn even during the exercises.
It was a direct contradiction to the World Health Organization’s statement that “people should NOT wear masks while exercising.” According to them, breathing comfortably will be tough when working out while wearing a mask. This is due to sweat likely leading to a wet mask.
High intensity exercises such as Zumba, which have both high and low intensity dance moves, will likely be done best without masks. However, it appears that the DOH and IATF both believe that face masks should still be worn at this time.
Health and safety protocols are still being implemented as Zumba group workouts are slowly being reintroduced. Araneta City, for example, has started socially-distant groups Zumba outdoors at their Times Square Foodpark from 5 to 6 p.m. on weekdays. Metro Manila is currently under alert level 2, the second-to-the-least stringent alert level, until November 30.
Photo: Gulf Times