Gyms furious they can’t reopen, call for government rethink


Dutch fitness centres and gyms have reacted angrily to the government’s decision not to allow them to reopen until September, although prime minister Mark Rutte did pledge to start talks about an earlier opening.

Sector lobby group NL Actief said the government’s decision, announced at a news conference on Wednesday night, is ‘unacceptable’. It said the arguments used by the government – such as the 1.5 metre distance requirement – did not hold water.

During his press conference Rutte spoke about the problems associated with gyms, in which ‘you get sweaty in small spaces ‘ and about the difficulty of ensuring equipment is cleaned.

‘We are not going to let this drop. The government is leaving 4,000 companies and three million people in the cold,’ the organisation said. ‘We are going all out with our entire network to fight this, and to demand a new compensation ruling for companies and the self-employed in our sector.’

The government has said adults can start practicising sports outside again from May 11, as long as there is no physical contact, and has agreed to open swimming pools.

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