Some Toronto, Peel residents appear to be crossing regional COVID-19 boundaries to exercise


Days after gyms in three of Ontario’s COVID-19 hotspots closed, some residents of neighboring municipalities say they are starting to see longer lines at their local fitness centers.

“Usually it was just coming and going, now you wait over 15 to 20 to 30 minutes,” Jay Osawe told CTV News Toronto outside a gym in Milton, Ont.

Osawe suspects lines may be traced to residents traveling from hot spots like Toronto and the region of Peel, where gym access and indoor dining have been suspended amid escalating cases of COVID-19.

“They closed these areas, now everyone is flocking here now,” he said.

On Monday, a video posted to Twitter showed a line of people strolling through the LA Fitness gym in Milton. A guest made the trip from Brampton just to practice and said he didn’t see the problem crossing into another area.

“I think if you follow all the guidelines, wear a mask, it shouldn’t be too bad,” he said.

In Markham, the manager of an Orangetheory Fitness facility said he had also noticed people from Toronto and the Peel region hoping to sweat in the facility.

Ryan Salvador said systems were in place to prevent people in those hotspot regions from attempting to book a workout.

“Their home studio membership is on hold and they cannot book elsewhere,” he explained.

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti said he had heard from residents concerned about the recent trend and warned businesses to be cautious.

“You could win for the next few days because you allow these customers to come in, but in the long run we’re all going to be hurt,” he said.

“Much of this is common sense and it is the responsibility of companies to minimize whatever they can to further limit the spread of COVID-19. ”

There are currently no rules in place to prevent travel between regions and the province has said it would be nearly impossible to enforce the restriction on resident movement.

On Wednesday, the Ontario government announced it was reviewing its COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions for gymnasiums and cycling studios across the province following a major outbreak at a studio in spinning in Hamilton.

READ MORE: Ontario May Tighten Gym Guidelines After Major Outbreak

Meanwhile, Scarpitti said York Region health officials are closely monitoring the situation in gyms and restaurants and if something goes wrong they would not hesitate to ask the province to expand. restrictions in the region.


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