OTTAWA -- You will need to wear a mask at all times inside Movati Athletic facilities, except when you are using cardio equipment, participating in a group fitness class, swimming or showering.

Movati Athletic has introduced a new mandatory mask protocol as facilities prepare to reopen in Ottawa this weekend following a 28-day shutdown. 

Effective Nov. 7, the use of facial masks will be mandatory while in the club, including while you lift weights.

"Masks must fit securely around your mouth, nose and chin without gapping," said Movati in a statement on social media.

You will be allowed to temporarily remove your mask in the following situations:

  • Using cardio equipment
  • Participating in a group fitness class
  • Showering, swimming, hydrating or enjoying the whirlpool spa

In a message to members Thursday afternoon, GoodLife Fitness said masks will be mandatory, except when working out.

"To align with government restrictions and recommendations, all GoodLife Clubs in Ottawa, Peel, Toronto and York will reopen with GoodLife’s Orange Mask Level," said the statement.

"This means that you must wear a mask at all times except while actively exercising. Masks must be worn when moving from machine-to-machine or from equipment-to-equipment, or if you are taking a long rest between sets."

Earlier this week, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches recommended to Mayor Jim Watson and the Ontario Government that masks be mandatory at all times in gyms and fitness centres in Ottawa to limit the spread of COVID-19.

"It would have implications. People would have to decrease the intensity of their exercise. There is vigorous cardiovascular exercise; you can't do with a mask on so you'd have to move that outdoors," said Dr. Etches during an interview on Newstalk 580 CFRA's The Morning Rush with Bill Carroll on Wednesday morning.

"I spoke with different people in the fitness industry. I think that, like restaurants, these businesses are doing their best to put in new ways of work. I think there are layers of precaution; like in schools we have layers of precaution."

Ottawa will move into the new "restrict" level on Saturday, allowing gyms and fitness centres to reopen.  The new rules for sports, gyms and fitness centres includes a maximum 50 people in the facility at all times, required screening of patrons and appointments for entry.

The new rules released by the Ontario Government state face coverings are required except when exercising.

"The provincial framework acknowledges there are some types of cardiovascular activity where it's impossible to wear a mask," said Dr. Etches.

"We can decrease the risk by moving those high intensity activities outdoors, and then when you're in the gym doing the things you can tolerate wearing a mask."