The closure of gyms and sports facilities in Morocco threatens more than 10,000 jobs, according to the Moroccan Association of Fitness Industry Professionals.
In a statement issued on Friday, September 18, the association called on authorities to allow the reopening of gyms across Morocco, saying the issue is of “utmost economic and social priority.”
Gyms are currently struggling to preserve the jobs of trainers and other staff, but the closure of the facilities will force them to lay off employees, the document added.
As Morocco took aggressive measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, gyms and training centers were some of the first businesses to close in Morocco in mid-March.
Authorities allowed gyms to reopen after implementing a series of safety measures in late June, as part of Morocco’s eased lockdown measures.
The association of fitness industry professionals explained that gyms in Morocco did not receive any financial support from public authorities after the second closure.
“All our correspondence with the concerned ministries remained unanswered to this day,” the statement said.
According to the association, the risk of COVID-19 infection in gyms cannot be higher than the risk in shopping centers, cafes, restaurants, or schools.
“We do not understand why this decision is taken against us,” the professionals deplored.
Besides the negative economic impact, the association highlighted the importance of physical exercise to strengthen the immune system and prevent infection with the virus.
Citing several international studies that link physical exercise to health safety, the association concluded its statement by pledging to adhere to safety regulations after the reopening of gyms. “The safety of citizens is our primary concern,” it said.