Planet Fitness to require gym goers to wear masks

New policy begins Saturday

Planet Fitness is requiring gym goers to wear masks starting Aug. 1, 2020. (Hand-out, Courtesy of Planet Fitness)

Starting Saturday, anyone visiting or working out at a Planet Fitness location will need to wear a mask for the duration of their visit.

Already, employees at the gym franchise’s 1,450 locations have been required to wear facial coverings but on Monday, the company made the announcement that the rule will be expanded to include members and guests.

“As we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic, amid an ongoing global health crisis, wellness has never been as essential to our collective community as it is today,” CEO Chris Rondeau wrote in a news release. “Gyms are part of the solution and a key element of the healthcare delivery system, providing much needed access for people to exercise and stay healthy. Given our leadership position within the industry, we believe it’s our responsibility to further protect our members, employees, and communities so that we can all safely focus on our health, which is more important now than ever before.”

The mask move is the latest designed to stop COVID-19 from infiltrating the gyms. The company said it has also stepped up sanitation, created a touchless check-in system, launched a Crowd Meter feature on its app so members can check capacity before arriving and implemented social distancing measures.

In Florida, gyms were allowed to reopen in May with 50% capacity. Capacity was upped to 100% in June when Florida entered phase two of reopening but there was a stipulation that social distancing still needs to be in place.

Currently there’s no statewide mask mandate, although many local governments have created such rules.

In Orange County, where a mask mandate has been in effect for more than a month now, the mayor said a few weeks ago that some gyms weren’t following rules designed to stop the spread of COVID-19. Still, the Florida Department of Health said at the time that the agency “had no reports of major outbreaks associated with gyms in Florida.”

To read the full announcement from Planet Fitness, click here.