SIBU: Gym operators are calling on the government to let them resume business as they have been severely hit by the movement control order (MCO) which came into force on March 18.
Operator of Solid Gym, Lau Kah Yii said he hoped the state government would look into their predicament and allow gyms to resume operations soon.
He said they were under increasing pressure every day as their financial resources were being depleted by the day.
Gyms have recorded zero income for more than two months now.
Their business depends heavily on membership fees, but gyms members have not been paying during this period.
Despite this, Lau said, they still had to pay rent, utility bills and salaries which run up to five figure a month.
With the conditional MCO extended to June 9, operators wonder how long they can hold out.
"We cannot continue to drag on as we still have bills and staff salary to pay every month. We still have to pay the full rental fee during this difficult period.
"Even freelance instructors in our gym are affected with the mandatory closure of the gym due to Covid-19," Lau said.
He said he had given his staff, especially part-timers, loans to tide over this difficult time.
"A lot of our members have been asking me when we will open. I can answer them on other things but not on this one as I don't know either.
"We, like other businesses, have to abide by the government's instruction," he said.
"We are not against the enforcement of conditional MCO but with most of the positive cases treated at Sibu Hospital being imported ones, we should be allowed to resume operations now," he said.
Lau said they would strictly follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) for gyms if they were given the green light to re-open.
"We will follow the basic SOP like taking the body temperature of patrons, providing hand sanitiser, and ensuring social distancing," he said.
"During this period, we only want to maintain our gym and to break even," he said.
A freelance instructor at another gym, John Lam said he had been losing income.
"The income from my work in the gym is an important one. I hope we can resume normal operations soon," he said.
President of Sibu Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Association, Chia Soon Seong, also said he hoped gyms would be allowed to re-open.
"We know that gym might be a risky place for the spread of the virus and that we need to abide by the government order. For Sibu, I hope we can re-open when phase five of the MCO ends on June 9," he said.
Source: The Star