Gym owners angry, want green light to reopen

Hair and nail salons have been given the green light, but it’s still a big “no” for Florida’s gyms and fitness centers when it comes to reopening amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Pinellas County gym owners held a demonstration Friday morning outside Amped Fitness in Pinellas Park. Owners and their employees were upset they were not included in phase one of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ plan to reopen the state.

Craig Long owns a gym and said for his employees, bills are piling up and unemployment checks are delayed.

“I’m sad, I’m uncertain, I’m pissed off and I want answers,” Long said.

Their core argument: their services are the first line of defense for mental health and immune support.

Owners say if they were to reopen, they would limit capacity, enforce physical distancing and wipe down the equipment with disinfectant after each use.

However, Gov. DeSantis says he wants to see the rates of emergency room visits going down as well as the number of cases in the state. Once he sees that, that’s when he says he’ll consider the next phase of reopening.