Gyms next businesses to reopen as Gov. Abbott continues to restart Texas economy

Governor Greg Abbott continues to roll out his plan to restart the Texas economy and gyms are the next businesses that are being allowed to reopen.

Starting today (5/18), gyms can reopen at 25% capacity with restrictions. Guidelines include equipment being six feet apart, cleaning supplies placed throughout the facility, showers and locker rooms remaining closed, and gloves and face coverings required to be worn.

RELATED: TIMELINE: Texas’ continued response to COVID-19 pandemic

In Austin, Liberation Barbell Club is one of the gyms that has decided to open its doors again but its owner Laurie Porsch admits that it won't be like it used to be before the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Porsch says her gym is taking the governor's reopening guidelines a step further to make sure they can provide a safe place for those wanting to workout and get back into the gym.

Guests who want to workout at Liberation will have to sign up for a specific day and time to go in so the gym knows who's coming and when.


Porsch says the online signup will also give members a way to see how many people will be at the gym when the are there.

The gym's hours will be expanded and it will allow for ample to completely close and deep clean the place too.

Porsch says guests will be asked to wear face coverings but especially when they're not actively working out. 

RELATED: Some Austin-area gyms plan to reopen on May 18, others to remain closed

Like many business owners, Porsch says the pandemic has been extremely tough, especially because hers is a new business. But she says it's made the team be creative in planning for the reopening and that the decision to reopen was not taken lightly.

"Honestly reopening was not an easy decision because the science doesn't back up all of it and what I mean by that is infections are still going up and deaths are still rising," Porsch says. "However I sat with my team and said can we figure out a way to do this safely that allows people who are ready to return to the gym a way to do it where they can control as many factors as they can what's the best way to do that."

RELATED: Coronavirus and the gym: Be 'super careful' at public facilities, doctor suggests

Porsch says certain factors including being a brand new business made the gym ineligible to receive the PPP loan from the government but she says members keeping their memberships during the pandemic helped them out.


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