California Gym Owners Sue Newsom Over Restrictions
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
California gym owners are taking Gov. Gavin Newsom and health officials to court over state orders that have kept their businesses closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic:
In its complaint, the California Fitness Alliance says it doesn’t challenge “the government’s ability to act swiftly to address a public health crisis, particularly at the early stages.” What it’s challenging the “duration, breadth, and arbitrariness of the government’s ‘stay at home’ orders and reopening plans during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as they pertain to the fitness industry.”
Gyms face numerous restrictions on when and how they can resume business:
Under state rules, fitness centers can reopen indoors at 10% of capacity when a county’s infections drop from widespread to substantial. In counties with minimal infections, gyms can reopen indoors at 50% capacity.
The closures have devastated the fitness industry, which could see between 30% and 40% of businesses close for good, Schuler said. They have also worsened the mental and physical health of residents who rely on gyms for exercise at a time when they are being urged to stay healthy to protect themselves against COVID-19, she said.
And as has been seen in many other states, industry-specific restrictions are applied unevenly, or even nonsensically:
The alliance also questioned why fitness centers are facing more restrictive measures than restaurants when gym equipment can be spaced out and patrons required to wear masks.
Image Credit: By Henri Sivonen from Helsinki, Finland (flickr: California State Capitol) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons