SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – As San Francisco puts a pause on reopening due to the increase of coronavirus cases, it’s also rolling back rules for gyms.

Starting Friday, fitness centers will be required to reduce capacity to a maximum of 50 people indoors or less than 25% capacity.

These new rollbacks will mainly affect bigger gyms in the city like Fitness SF.

The smaller, independent fitness studios are already so limited with size and capacity that most will be able to continue business as usual, however, they’re concerned about what’s around the corner for the industry as we approach the holidays.

Rollback restrictions will hit San Francisco on Friday, affecting gyms in the city.

Fitness centers must reduce their maximum capacity from 100 people down to 50 people and must operate at less than 25% capacity.

“We were one of the survivors that fortunately could reopen when we were allowed to and you know we’re finally gaining some momentum and unfortunately the cases are rising,” Troy Macfarland said.

Troy Macfarland with Fitness SF says the rollbacks will reduce their capacity to anywhere from 30 to 40 members, but says it won’t be a big change for Fitness SF locations since they already operate with caution, at less than its previously allowed max capacity of 100 people.

“The bigger worry is if we were to get completely shut down again, it would be devastating to us and to the rest of the fitness industry, which most of the smaller gym chains have already felt that pretty badly,” Macfarland said.

Something Dave Karraker knows all too well, as the co-owner of MX3 Fitness. 

While the rollbacks won’t affect his smaller fitness studio, he’s worried more reductions may come if the city continues to see more COVID cases.

“Everybody has been really focused on what’s going to happen New Years Day because that’s when New Year’s Resolutions kick in and that’s when all of these fitness businesses, they really make so much of their annual revenue in those first three months of the year so if we’re still going backwards and people don’t have the opportunity to live up those New Year’s Resolutions, we’re really going to be in trouble,” Karraker said.

Karraker’s also the founder of the San Francisco Independent Fitness Studio Coalition that represents dozens of other gyms in the city. 

He watched several of them close because of the pandemic and hopes he won’t have to watch more shut their doors in the coming months.

“Here come the holidays and you know small gatherings with family and you have to really think about that. What you do is not only affecting you, it could also be affecting all the small businesses in your neighborhood and nobody wants an entire neighborhood of boarded-up storefronts,” Karraker said.

While San Francisco hasn’t moved backwards on the state’s reopening tiers, the mayor says we’re on track if cases continue going up which is why she’s doing these rollbacks – to prevent more business closures or restrictions from happening.

San Francisco has done a great job up until this point, this is a reminder to mask up and not get too comfortable since we are still in this pandemic.

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