What are Italy’s new rules on going to the gym or pool?

What are Italy's new rules on going to the gym or pool?
People exercising at a gym in Rome on May 25th. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
As sports centres begin reopening in Italy, here are the coronavirus safety guidelines you'll need to follow while you exercise.

Gyms and swimming pools in most parts of Italy were allowed to reopen from May 25th, though some regions and municipalities have opted to keep them closed for longer.

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According to guidelines developed by the Ministry of Sport with health officials and medical specialists, from now on visiting a sports centre will involve taking a number of precautions, including wearing a face mask and arriving dressed in your exercise clothes.

Here are the protocols the government has instructed sports centres to follow:

  • Reduce the number of people allowed to enter at once, for example by requiring a reservation.
  • Clean communal spaces and equipment after each use. 
  • Equip staff with face masks and gloves.
  • Provide hand-washing facilities and sanitizer gel.
  • Mark individual training stations and a clear one-way route around the facilities.
  • Allocate designated bins for face masks and tissues.
  • Limit access to locker rooms and showers to avoid crowding.
  • Swimming pools must place deckchairs at least 1.5 metres apart.

Sports centres may also take precautions such as measuring users' temperature and logging when they attended for contact tracing purposes, while certain facilities such as saunas may remain closed off.

Meanwhile here's what the government is advising individuals to do when they visit their gym or pool:

  • Disinfect hands upon entering and before exiting.
  • Wear a face mask in shared spaces, though you can take it off while exercising or showering.
  • Keep at least 2 metres away from others while exercising, and 1 metre at all other times. Swimmers are supposed to be surrounded by 7 square metres of space in the water.
  • Arrive dressed in your workout clothes and place belongings inside a bag, including if you leave them in a locker.
  • After exercising, immediately put dirty clothes into a bag and take home to be washed separately from the rest of your laundry.
  • Bring your own water bottle or drink from a disposable cup.
  • Sanitize personal items or equipment that you bring into shared spaces, such as phones or your own mat or weights, and don't share them with anyone else.
  • Bring sealable bags in which to throw away masks and tissues.
  • Avoid using shared hairdryers.

The government has also urged gyms to encourage “remote training” where possible, offering exercise classes and consultations online instead of in person.

While matches and competitions remain banned, sports teams are allowed to begin training together again.

The government has set additional guidelines for team sports such as football and basketball, including requiring each player to sign a form certifying they're coronavirus-free.


Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Exercising outdoors, such as jogging or cycling, is no longer limited since the government dropped its order to remain within a block of your own home.

Parks have also reopened, while you're free to travel within your own region to exercise on the nearest beach or mountains.


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