KRAKOW, POLAND – A Krakow gym is trying to rebrand itself as a “Church of the Healthy Body” in an attempt to bypass the new coronavirus restrictions which have seen fitness clubs scramble for creative loopholes.
The government decided to shut down most pools and gyms in order to stem a recent surge in coronavirus infections.
“Because fitness classes aren’t allowed, starting today we’re offering religious gatherings for members of the Church of the Healthy Body,” Kraków’s Atlantic Sports club announced on Facebook.
The gym also declared it was opening a store with exercise equipment and welcomed everyone to head on over and test it out for a fee.
Under the new restrictions annonced last week, restaurants are required to close early nationwide, while secondary schools and universities are moved partially online, and weddings are banned in Warsaw and other high-risk red zones.
But church services are still allowed to go ahead in the country, as long as the congregations wear masks and respect the attendance limit.
This spurred hundreds of people to attend a fitness industry rally against the restrictions in Warsaw, with AFP reporting signs with slogans such as “physical activity = immunity”.
After the official number of new daily cases soared to nearly 10,000 on Saturday, the country is also setting up its first makeshift hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients, amid growing reports of hospitals struggling with coronavirus infections increasing to their highest ever level.
With the second wave of infections is threatening to overwhelm the country’s healthcare system, News from Poland reports that the government is also turning the National Stadium in Warsaw into a field hospital.
“The second wave is here”, said the Czech governmental appointee for science, research, and healthcare Roman Prymula, on September 13. Three weeks later, one can only acknowledge that the newly-appointed Health Minister was right, and that Central Europe as a whole is struggling with record-high numbers of new COVID-19 cases.