Winnipeg gym owner eyes virtual classes amid lockdown

WINNIPEG — With gyms and fitness centres set to close under Manitoba’s public health orders, a Winnipeg gym owner said he is shifting gears to provide his services virtually, but he can only do it for so long.

On Friday evening, the province announced what it called ‘significant restrictions’ that will be put in place across the province on Sunday. Among them is the forced closure of Manitoba gyms and fitness centres.

“As a business owner I don’t like this at all,” said Michael Belostotsky, the owner of Winnipeg South Fit Body Boot Camp.

“We are all in it and we need to do whatever we can do to stop this spiralling of those cases and those spikes, but definitely it is not something I really enjoy hearing from the government.”

Belostotsky said he has had no COVID cases at his gym, but said he trusts the province is making the decision based on data.

“They see where the exposure is, where cases come from. If gyms are one of those spots, well probably it is worth doing.”

The Winnipeg gym owner has shifted much of his business to an online platform, hosting virtual classes for clients. But he said it has a financial impact.

He said he has applied for federal and provincial support programs, such as the bridge grant program in Manitoba.

“It will help our bottom line and we will be able to survive for a little bit more, but definitely it is not really a sustainable business model,” he said, adding he is unsure what will happen if the upcoming lockdown lasts longer than a month. 

The measures are set to expire on May 30.

-with files from CTV’s Renee Rodgers

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