Hong Kong's reopened gyms may show future of socially distanced workouts

Ultraviolet (UV) light devices, barriers between treadmills, and lots and lots of hand sanitizer are some of the new post-coronavirus additions found at Hong Kong gyms as they reopen following COVID-19 shutdowns.

As fitness centers and their clientele around the world look toward reopening once coronavirus shutdown restrictions roll back, Hong Kong is offering an early example of how to do it social distancing style.

In the U.S. and overseas, gyms closed after authorities issued shutdown orders aimed at slowing the spread at COVID-19. Now, officials and small business owners are looking at how they might reopen.

A video posted to Bloomberg’s QuickTake Twitter account shows some of the new safety measures in the city by the South China Sea.

There are transparent dividers set up between treadmills. There are new devices that sanitize cellphones with UV light. Visitors can no longer drink from water fountains -- and they’re being asked to wipe down their equipment after use and maintain social distancing from other gym-goers.

Additional photos, shared by Bloomberg journalist Virginia Lau, show a gym member having her temperature checked at a welcome desk, hand sanitizer stations and shuttered saunas.

But there are also a few domestic examples of how gyms can approach reopening, as well.

One New Jersey gym owner reopened this week, in defiance of the state’s shutdown. That prompted a police citation, although he said he implemented social distancing precautions and operated at just 20 percent of the building’s normal occupancy.

NJ GYM OWNER CITED BY COPS AFTER REOPENING, SAYS DEFIANCE OF LOCKDOWN IS 'FOR ALL SMALL BUSINESSES'

In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp has authorized gyms and fitness centers to resume “minimum basic operations” under certain restrictions. Those include enhanced sanitation measures, providing personal protective equipment to employees, prohibiting unnecessary person-to-person contact and enforcing social distancing, among other measures.

At Crunch Fitness in Athens, visitors must have their temperatures taken upon entry, remain at least 6 feet apart from one another and wipe down their equipment, Fox 5 Atlanta reported earlier this week.

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“We took advantage of the time we had to enhance the facility so that when people are coming back in, they’re not just coming back into Crunch, they’re coming back to the cleanest, newest possible Crunch we can give them,” assistant general manager Andiasean Johnson told the outlet.