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Reader question: What are the current rules for gyms and fitness centres in Switzerland?

Reader question: What are the current rules for gyms and fitness centres in Switzerland?
Gyms and fitness centres can open again in Switzerland from April 19th. Photo: Raul ARBOLEDA / AFP
Switzerland’s coronavirus reopening announcement took everyone by surprise. What will the rules for gyms and fitness centres be from April 19th?

From Monday, April 19th, Switzerland decided to relax a number of coronavirus rules. While the focus has been on restaurants and bars again being allowed to open, one measure that has been a little lost has concerned gyms and fitness centres. 

From Monday, April 19th, gyms and fitness centres – as well as sporting halls for team sports – were again be allowed to open in Switzerland. 

Despite some heavy criticism from experts and scientists – both in Switzerland and abroad – the move is set to go ahead. 

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Here’s what you need to know. 

Can I play team sport again? 

Yes – but in many cases you will need to wear a mask. 

Individuals and groups of up to 15 people are again allowed to play amateur sport, including tournaments and competitions. 

However, masks must be worn outside where distance of 1.5 metres cannot be kept. 

This means that contact sports are again allowed outdoors – but only with a mask. 

When it comes to indoor sports, masks must be worn and distance must be kept. 

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Contact sports are not allowed indoors. 

The official recommendation of the government is that indoor sports should be moved outdoors, but this is not a rule. 

What about skiing?

Ski areas will remain a decision for the cantons – and of course the coming warmer weather is already having its say. 

The federal government requires that cantons make their decisions to open or close ski facilities on the basis of test capacity, hospital capacity, contact tracing infrastructure and only where a ‘hygiene and safety concept’ has been provided. 

What are the rules for gyms and fitness centres? 

Gyms and fitness centres may open again from Monday. 

There is no maximum capacity as gyms are not counted as a ‘group activity’, meaning that distance must be kept and masks must be worn. 

Wellness facilities and pools must however remain closed. 

Do I always need to wear a mask in the gym?

No, actually.  It depends on the activity. 

There are exceptions to the mask rules for ‘endurance training’, however longer distances must be kept in these instances. 

According to Swiss tabloid Blick, masks do not need to be worn on the treadmill or on the exercise bike. 

EXPLAINED: What are Switzerland’s upcoming coronavirus measures?

The official guidance has not specified how long this distance must be, except to say they must be “stricter” than the existing 1.5 metres.

Do I need to get tested to play sport or go to the gym? 

There is no test requirement to play sport or go to the gym. 

The government said however that it recommends people take a test before participating, however this is not a rule. 

More information on the specific measures is available at the following official link. 


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