Reinstated restrictions bring frustration for red-zone teachers, gym owners

With Tuesday's public health announcements, Montrealers will have to readjust their routines yet again. It’s been a yo-yo schedule for many, like teachers and gym owners who are directly affected.

It’s a not a teacher’s style to say “I told you so” but some professionals who resisted last week’s return to campus edict just might be thinking that.

“I can just imagine how teachers and administrators are feeling right now. They reorganized the school organization to get back on track this week," said Heidi Yetman of the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers.

She added that the previous day-on/day-off of campus model was working and the government shouldn’t have repealed that just to reinstate it.

“They should have just left it from the get go," she said. 

Yetman said she's pleased to hear that teachers have been moved up the ladder of priority list for COVID-19 vaccines, but she wants a firm timeline on those innoculations as an assurance.

“I don't think they are protecting teachers and I fear for their safety. They are so overwhelmed and afraid and at a breaking point," she said. 

In Quebec red zones, gyms will be closed again, only 12 days after re-opening.

F45 Fitness Studio in Griffintown was built during the pandemic with the health restrictions in mind. Clients exercise in their own square, without sharing equipment. With extensive cleaning protocols and social distancing, the owners said they feel they can offer a safe environment for exercise.

Corey Faubert said this new fitness studio model is safe and should not be included in the one-size-fits-all approach of reclosing gyms.

"In the industry, there's been a move away from big box gyms to smaller, more intimate studio fitness. People feel safer and with COVID, we needed to pivot our programs," she said. 

Faubert maintained that gyms, like the times, have changed.

“There's a misunderstanding about sweaty bodies, stale air and shared equipment. It's not applicable and the same for other studio fitness businesses."

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