Camden County Gym Posts New Rules Ahead of Planned Reopening
BELLMAWR — A borough gym posted a set of new rules Sunday, ahead of its publicly announced planned re-opening Monday despite the state’s continued emergency directives.
A day earlier, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office issued a reminder that gym members could face penalties, among visitors of any business operating in violation of those directives.
"Do not expect a normal day at the gym — expect to modify your workout" read the list of precautions planned out by Atilis Gym owner Ian Smith and co-owner Frank Trumbetti, who for a week have criticized Gov. Phil Murphy's executive orders which still prohibit a number of small businesses from being open during COVID-19.
Smith posted a video May 11 announcing the plan, with a banner behind him that read "Bellmawr versus Everybody." He made a TV appearance two days later on Fox News with evening personality, Tucker Carlson.
When asked about the publicly announced reopening, Murphy said at Thursday’s state briefing “the gym owner is out of compliance, I don't know, I've heard about this person. They're out of compliance, and that's not going to be tolerated.”
On Saturday, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office issued a reminder as to which businesses remain under the governor's stay-at-home order, noting "recreational and entertainment businesses such as movie theaters, gyms, bars, hair salons, retail shopping malls, tattoo parlors are some of the facilities required to remain closed until the order is lifted."
The Prosecutor's Office also said "Anyone who patronizes a business that is open in violation of an executive order could face criminal charges in the form of a disorderly persons offense for which you could be fined up to $1,000 for each offense and spend up to six months in jail."
As of Sunday, New Jersey had 146,334 cases based on test results and 10,356 deaths reported due to COVID-19.
According to the new rules posted to the Atilis Gym Facebook page, the owners plan to reopen only to existing members, "first come first served" up to 20% of the gym’s capacity.
Masks were to be worn at all times by those working out, "except for mid-set," when a mask should be around the person's neck for easy access.
Temperature checks and filling out a medical questionnaire and new waiver would be required, and according to the posted rules anybody reading above 100.4 would be denied access.
The gym also planned for "strict social distancing," with the except of a spotter wearing a face mask at particular stations, and showers, lockers and water fountains would be off limits.
Personal gym bags were urged to be “minimal,” though members were told to bring their own personal equipment, such as "mats, belts, chalk, bands and straps," as outlined in the rules.
The gym's new rules Facebook post drew more than a hundred comments by Sunday evening, largely from supporters wishing the gym owners good luck.