Written by: Deng Bailiang
2020-03-28 21:27Last updated: 2020-03-28 21:27
The outbreak of new coronavirus pneumonia (commonly known as "Wuhan pneumonia") has continued, and the number of confirmed patients in Hong Kong has recently increased. Although most of the infected patients return to Hong Kong from overseas or have a history of traveling abroad, experts are also worried that a community outbreak will occur. The government announced yesterday (27th) that the fitness center, game machine center, bathroom, playground, theater, rented public places, etc. must be closed from 6pm today (28th) for a period of 14 days.
The fitness center suffered bleak business due to the epidemic in the past 2 months. Unexpectedly, it encountered a "closing order" during the difficult operation, and the fitness industry fell into a cold winter. Some people in the industry frankly agreed to cooperate with the new measures and accept the short-term pain, but criticized the government for not having specific support and subsidy programs, which is difficult to stabilize the mood of the industry. Some fitness coaches bluntly said, "The government has called the citizens to fight the epidemic. "Anti-epidemic? Maybe you have starved to death in pneumonia!"
The government announced that fitness centers, game console centers, bathrooms, playgrounds, theaters, and rented public places, etc., need to be closed for 14 days from 6 p.m. on March 28. Industry insiders are worried. (Photo by Deng Bailiang)
"Hong Kong 01" visited the Fitness Formula, which opened in Tsim Sha Tsui for more than a year last week. At the time, Crystal, the marketing manager at the time, pointed out that the fitness room had already measured body temperature for guests, encouraged the use of hand rubs, limited class size and strengthened disinfection. Make sure the environment is clean. The center launched a fitness room package discount in March. Guests have also returned to stretch their muscles because they have not exercised for too long. Therefore, the business has gradually improved since this month, and the turnover has increased by two or three times compared to February. It is expected that there may be a second wave of epidemics in Hong Kong, but overall there is still confidence in the industry's future.
Unexpectedly, the epidemic situation in Hong Kong worsened one week after the incident. The government announced yesterday that fitness centers, playgrounds, theaters and other places need to be closed from 6 pm today (28th) for a period of 14 days. The introduction of new epidemic prevention measures suddenly disrupted the position of the fitness room, and also caused the improving performance to suffer again. Crystal said that guests had the highest "fear index" in February, no one dared to go out of the street, the lowest turnover in that month, and March was considered to be an improvement. It was unexpected at this time that the new policy caused the entire industry to enter a cold winter.
Course director and coach Ernie said that the government announced the closure of the fitness center without warning, causing industry complaints. (Photo by Deng Bailiang)
The government's "closing order" came suddenly. Crystal said that customers had called to inquire about package tickets last night. The center has automatically extended the package deadline for 2 weeks. Colleagues must also notify all guests of the relevant arrangements within 2 days. Working and rearranging the curriculum, the propaganda strategy formulated earlier also stopped immediately, and she admits that these two days of administrative work have become quite burdensome.
The fitness center was ordered to suspend business under the epidemic situation. Workers are most worried about the rice bowl problem. Crystal pointed out that the recent good news is that the boss has stated clearly that he will not lay off staff, and promised to weather the winter together to give employees a boost. However, the center's fitness coaches have a small base salary, and most of their salaries come from teaching. They usually work harder and have more classes, but there is no class to teach during the suspension period, and artificial labor has naturally shrunk.
Course director and coach Ernie pointed out that the government announced the closure of the fitness center without warning, causing complaints in the industry, because many peers have already suspended their pay to stay in the office, "there is no artificial teaching, and some people have to find part-time jobs." Help make a living. He pointed out that fitness coaches are similar to taxi drivers in that they belong to the same family. Even if the company has a basic salary, it is not enough to support the family. Ernie said: "Even if you talk to me, I believe many coaches do it. . "
Crystal, the marketing manager, admitted that in addition to helping the industry save itself, I hope the government can help. (Photo by Deng Bailiang)
When the government announced the closure of the business, but did not introduce specific support measures at the same time, Ernie was dissatisfied: "The government has called Hong Kong citizens to fight the epidemic, but the spot is to fight the epidemic? Do you have to go hungry, fight the epidemic? Do you want to fight the epidemic?啰. There are many low-level, service industries ... (the government) is only talking about anti-epidemic, it may be pneumonia, or it may starve to death! "He said that the government claims to imitate foreign countries, but it can actually do better," It's as if Britain talked about how much subsidy there will be, which is practical. "
Fitness Formula closed at 5 o'clock today. Employees will not need to return to the gym to work in the next 14 days, but will continue to save themselves. Ernie said that she would contact guests the next day to understand their situation and encourage them to maintain their exercise habits. The center will also try to use online teaching, but I believe it will not be a long-term practice.
Crytal said that the company is willing to cooperate with the government's new measures and does not mind accepting the short-term pain, but if the suspension of the business 14 days still does not help curb the epidemic, the industry will be very worried. Both Ernie and Crystal pointed out that the industry can't predict when the winter will end. If it is to stop for "several 14 days", it will have a great impact on the industry. It cannot be ruled out that a fitness center is closed. They expect the government to issue rent and salary subsidies to the affected industries in the short term. "Except for the industry's self-help, they all hope that the government will help."
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