For some of us, this is going to be game over



ONE local gym owner says he doubts his business will recover after Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced in Parliament that gyms will have to once again have to close their doors due to new COVID-19 restrictions.

Charles Johnson, owner of Out Da Box Fitness, says he is done and will have no choice but to close up shop. Dr Minnis made the announcement in Parliament yesterday just after putting the country back on weekend lockdowns in a bid to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Gyms were only allowed to open in late September after being closed for most of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Johnson, whose gym just reopened on Monday, is upset about the turn around and is calling on those who are responsible for keeping COVID-19 lawbreakers in check, to do their jobs.

“What a roller coaster ride,” Mr Johnson said. “I think I am not going to be able to come back after this to open again. This will be it for me. People are still paying rent. They had to make sure it was paid up before they started operating again. We went and we did all this stuff; put in all these protocols; set up the hand sanitizers again and clean up your gym. We did all of that on the weekend, opened on Monday and two days later we are closed. I’m out of money. I’m in a pickle.

“What I am most disappointed with is that the people who are supposed to be policing all these people who are breaking the COVID laws, have not been effectively doing their jobs. And, they are getting paid. They have not experienced any financial hardship. Clearly these people are not doing their jobs.”

Mr Johnson is in agreement with measures being put in place to fight against the coronavirus, however, he thinks these restrictions should have been put in place months ago.

“All I know is that it is so unfortunate what was said today,” he continued. “I basically just reopened on Monday past and for this to happen, it’s crazy. I think that everybody appreciates what the government is doing in trying to get a handle on this thing, but a lot of the measures they are putting in place now are measures that should have been put in place many months ago. The whole idea of closing us back down while others are allowed to open, it’s crazy.

“Allow us to operate at least three days a week in small numbers. We should be allowed to operate in some fashion. He acknowledged in his presentation that he knows he opened us back up for a short period and to do this to us again and he said he would try to get us to open back up as soon as possible, but if you are still allowing certain other businesses to be open then allow us to continue to be open but in small numbers. If beauty salons and other businesses are still open, then why can’t we be open in a controlled environment? I made sure that I (have) just eight people per class in a 3,000 square foot place.”

During a previous interview in September, Mr Johnson told The Tribune that even though gyms in the country were shut down for months, luxury gated communities that have gym facilities were reportedly allowed to operate. He complained about the perceived double standard at the time.

“Now we are going to be dealing with on-edge landlords who need commitment from their tenants,” he said yesterday. “So that is what we are dealing with now. The landlords should be rightfully concerned because they have a budget for their money also.

“I feel I cannot open again after this. If we knew we could open again in two weeks or in ten days then we could plan better, but still there is no timeline. They can’t say, ‘hey guys you will open up in three weeks once we see the numbers trending in a certain way.’ It’s just unfair.”

Mr Johnson said he spoke with many gym owners and they are very disheartened about the industry being closed once again.


DDK 3 years, 7 months ago

The rogue regulations put out by this most incompetent authority are, at the very least, heartless and, at the most, criminal. Would like to see the two locally renowned Queen's Councillors take on a pro bono case on behalf of the victims of this arrogantly disgusting regime, i.e. with the exception of the pampered civil servants, THE PEOPLE.


Jim 3 years, 7 months ago

Gyms are opportunities for people that are healthy to stay healthy. The gym has reduced numbers, sanitize after a customer and reduced operations weekly to comply Keep them open A workout in a gym is much more than being able to take a walk in your neighborhood. Is there no thought going into maintaining the health of both the business and the people other than this magic wand that the gov.waves to determine how to destroy the health of the Bahamian people and the economy.


jackbnimble 3 years, 7 months ago

This is heartless. Not one covid case has been reported from any gym yet I know people who suspect they have it and still go to the food store. I’m realizing that this Government is not about preserving small businesses and the economy. They are all about destroying them.


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