Rush in the gyms on Wednesday, the day they reopen.
After eight and a half months of forced break due to Covid-19.
Fitness addicts and other weight rooms were there to sweat under the weight of the dumbbells and wear out their soles on the treadmills.
Fabrice, 40, in full effort, is sweating profusely this afternoon in the Neoness gym, located in the Beaugrenelle district (Paris XVth). Goal ? "Lose the 7 kg accumulated during confinement", hopes the father who intends "to find a balance and a healthy lifestyle. “After receiving the two doses of vaccine, he lets off steam on Wednesday for the first time in months. "It is out of the question to play sports without this security," he assures us.
But the right student is a rarity in the room, where the vast majority of clients have not yet completed their vaccination and also do not use the QR code of the TousAntiCovid application displayed at the entrance of the room.
Juliette, a 25-year-old client, only received one dose, did not do a PCR test, but “whatever”, she says: “It's good for morale. to come and see people.
I went to have dinner on the terrace, I see friends regularly so these sanitary constraints will not prevent me from coming back.
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For managers, this recovery has a bittersweet flavor. According to the surveys they have conducted with their customers, a majority of them are ready to come back within the next few weeks. They know it, however: it is necessary to show white paw, because the health threat persists and a new closure in September is not to be excluded if the contamination figures loose and clusters are identified in their companies.
A scenario that does not rule out epidemiologist Dominique Costagliola.
“We lighten the measures in places where we do not have good control of the transmission, in particular with the prospect of transmission by aerosol since it is not compulsory to wear his mask during the effort.
Going to a gym is therefore not recommended for people who have not completed the vaccination, she warns.
There are also many uncertainties about the Delta variant.
If there is not a very good ventilation, that the athletes do not wear a mask, the risk of contamination is great.
A 50% gauge until June 30
To limit the damage, professionals promise irreproachable sanitary conditions, as well as compliance with the health protocol set by the government - more or less the same as that of summer 2020.
Until June 30 at a minimum, they must respect a 50% gauge, two meters of distance between each client, one person per machine as well as the mandatory wearing of the mask outside of moments of effort, to which they must add ventilation. group classrooms and the traceability of practitioners. Sufficient? “We are not a doctor, we rely on the Regional Health Agency for all protocols, defends the co-founder of the Neoness rooms, Céline Rémy-Wisselink. Today, they are stricter, and the Ministry of Health has decided not to impose the sports mask, so that means that today's health protocol is good. What is important is that it is respected. "
An essential condition for their survival. In the space of eight months, all the rooms have seen a significant loss of members. Between January and March, the Center for Study and Research on Sport (Ceres) conducted a census of companies active in the fitness sector. The results are worrying for the 6,200 cinemas identified: one in three clubs believes that the risk of liquidation of its activity is high, 24% of cinemas foresee a decrease in the number of their employees and, in total, they have observed the loss of 2 , 5 million subscribers out of the 6.5 million regular practitioners in 2019.
Philippe Herbette, president of the Fitness Park group, thus lost 50% of its 700,000 members. “But today (Wednesday), it worked very hard,” he rejoices. There have been so many re-registrations online and euphoria that our website even crashed. He believes that the recovery will be gradual, and that it will take "about 18 months to return to the pre-Covid workforce". Especially since after a month of June in half-gauge will come summer, a traditionally calm period in this sector with the return of outdoor activities.