Gym owners: City’s emergency order unfairly targets their business

Gym owners: City’s emergency order unfairly targets their business

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gyms and workout facilities can technically reopen under the city’s new emergency order.

But only for exercise outdoors.

And under the city’s new tiered framework of COVID-19 restrictions, even when gyms are able to reopen for exercise indoors they’ll continue to face capacity limitations.

That’s causing many gym owners to cry foul.

Charles Kipilii Jr., owner of Hawaii Elite MMA and Fitness, says many local gyms are going into debt and facing permanent closure.

He strongly disagrees with what the mayor has in place.

“It’s going to be hard for them to go out and look at every business because I know every business owner has a unique business, but I believe that some businesses probably can open,” he said.

“There’s probably businesses way more dangerous than us that are open.”

Bryant Powers with CrossFit Oahu agrees.

He hopes the city will see how his gym operates: Adhering to COVID-19 regulations. The open air facility in Kakaako keeps members apart at all times.

Under the city’s new order, gyms and fitness facilities can conduct operations exclusively outdoors. Customers must wear face coverings and remain 6 feet apart.

Fitness facilities include traditional gyms along with yoga, hula and dance studios.

If cases continue to decline, the city is poised to progress to tiers 2 through 4.

At tier 2, gyms can operate indoors at 25% capacity. At tier 4, which has the lowest restrictions, they still must keep capacity at 50% or below.

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