Bill that would allow NC gyms to reopen passes Senate committee

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A bill moving through the North Carolina General Assembly would reopen gyms, which are still closed in Phase Two of Gov. Roy Cooper’s reopening plan.

Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee approved House Bill 594 Thursday morning.

Various kinds of fitness centers would be able to open as long as employees get their temperatures taken daily and wear masks.

The bill says that employees don’t have to wear masks if they’re in a class and can practice social distancing.

Republicans sponsoring the bill say gyms in neighboring states are open and have adapted to the COVID-19 outbreak.

A spokesperson for Cooper said the bill is “irresponsible” and that it “disregards public health recommendations.”

There’s also a lawsuit pending by gym owners who are seeking to reopen.

A coalition of North Carolina fitness club operators, the Fitness Operators for Responsible Reopening (FORR), released the following statement on the bill’s passage in committee:

We are encouraged by today’s bipartisan vote in the N.C. Senate Commerce Committee to advance legislation to safely reopen gyms, health clubs and fitness centers. We commend lawmakers for their leadership to find a solution that prioritizes the health and safety of our 600,000 members and 5,000 employees in North Carolina. With the added stress and isolation of the pandemic, exercise is more important now than ever for the physical and mental well-being of our communities. We look forward to working together to get North Carolinians moving again.”

Fitness Operators for Responsible Reopening

The Senate could vote on it next week.

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