Masks no longer compulsory when members are undertaking vigorous activity, says Virgin Active


By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article publishedSep 2, 2020

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The South African government has made wearing a mask in public mandatory but has recently made an exception for gyms, according to Virgin Active.

In a social media post, the gym updated their members about the mask regulation in their clubs.

“Government has released new regulations covering the use of masks in the club.The use of masks is no longer compulsory when members are undertaking a vigorous activity, provided that they maintain a 2m distance from other people,” said the post.

However, the regulation is only limited to vigorous activity. “A mask must be worn at all other times in the club, including on entry and exit.Our teams will still be masked up and we encourage members to use masks responsibly and with consideration for other members,’’ the gym announced.

For some people, this may not come as a surprise as the World Health Organization released guidance in June on wearing of mask when exercising.

The guidance said that people shouldn’t wear face masks while exercising because it could reduce the ability to breathe comfortably, noting that the most important factor in preventing disease spread is distancing yourself from others.

Grayson Wickham, a physical therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist at Movement Vault, speaking to CNET said, generally, it’s safe for most people to exercise while wearing a face mask.

“Most people can perform every and all exercises with a face mask on,” Wickham says. “You will want to monitor how you’re feeling while exercising and watch out for specific symptoms such as lightheadedness, dizziness, numbness or tingling and shortness of breath.”

However, Wickham says people who have underlying cardiovascular or respiratory conditions should take caution when exercising with a face mask on. The severity of their condition will dictate whether or not it’s appropriate for them to exercise with a face mask on.


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