Gyms and fitness centers will remain shuttered even under relaxed quarantine rules because of the high risk of transmission of the new coronavirus, the Department of Trade and Industry said on Saturday.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the decision was made upon the advice of experts.

“Under the GCQ (general community quarantine), we were advised na hindi muna because of so high risk. Kasi po as we reviewed the sectors to be opened, it is always finding that balance between iyong transmission rate, potential transmission rate and also the essential nature of the business,” he said during the #LagingHandaPH public briefing.

“[The] advice also from experts, it seems the virus can stay on [gym] equipment, it’s so difficult to really check na frequently sanitized itong mga items na ito, talking of gym equipment in general. So marami silang hinahawakan diyan, metal pa, so hindi po advisable na mag-operate muna,” he added.

The stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) remains in effect until May 15 over Metro Manila, Central Luzon or Region 3 except Aurora, Calabarzon or Region 4-A, Pangasinan, Benguet including Baguio City, Iloilo, Cebu Province including Cebu City, and Davao City.

The rest of the country was placed under GCQ until May 15, and will be removed thereafter for “low-risk” areas and may be extended for “moderate-risk” areas. (