NEW YORK — Jairo Rodriguez has a unique workout routine. He likes to walk on his hands along the indoor track at Chelsea Piers Fitness in Manhattan. With capacity limits going away, he expects less room for this workout.
“I will have to find a different spot where I can do this," said Rodriguez, who includes a little bit of everything as part of his workout at the club along the Hudson River.
What You Need To Know
- Effective May 19, most business capacity restrictions have been removed in New York
- Businesses will only be limited by the space available for people to maintain required social distance of six feet
- Rules apply to retail, food establishments, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment centers, hair salons and barber shops and other personal care services
- It also applies to houses of worship
Chelsea Piers also has a location in Brooklyn that's preparing to welcome more folks inside.
Keeth Smart, the fitness club's regional general manager, said the biggest change for them is members will no longer have to book a reservation for a workout time.
"So we are going to turn that off and allow as many people who want to come into the club at any given time," said Smart. "Again, we are not really worried about that because we have so much space."
At the facility’s pool, Smart said they are looking to expand the number of people who can swim in a lane at the same time, and bring back more swim classes, especially the popular masters swimming program.
"In terms of expanding our capacity for the pool, we can start that pretty quickly," said Smart.
Chelsea Piers Fitness was closed due to the pandemic in mid-March 2020 and reopened around six months later in September. Fitness equipment will remain socially distanced for now, but the goal is to start bringing in more bikes for spin classes, and also allow pickup volleyball and basketball. Masks will still be required, and Smart said he expects the numbers of folks returning to work out for their physical and mental health to increase.
"What we were seeing right now is with increased capacity, more members want to come back to the club, as well as they see that more New Yorkers in general are fully vaccinated, so they feel perfectly safe coming back to the club knowing all the safety protocols we have in place” said Smart, who is a Brooklyn native and an Olympic silver medalist in fencing.
Members like Daneala Osbena are looking forward to some more normalcy.
"At the beginning it was kind of weird and I was kind of scared to be honest, but now I'm really excited and I'm looking forward to it," said Osbena.