Gyms, swimming pools allowed to reopen

Ljubljana – Gyms and swimming pools will reopen on Monday under strict conditions according to a new government decree that also allows younger registered athletes who are members of national teams to train.

Under the rules adopted on 31 December, one person per 50 sq. is allowed in gyms and swimming pools accompanied by a coach, and a five-metre safety distance between individuals must be observed.

In swimming pools, only every second lane may be occupied and the 50 sq. metre rule applies, Mojca Dupona, the head of the Education Ministry’s sports directorate, told the STA.

In indoor facilities under 50 sq. metres, one person or household is allowed to exercise.

Unlike for skiing, which opened on 1 January, a negative coronavirus test is not required for gyms and swimming pools.

Professional athletes have been able to train and compete in top-level events for some time despite coronavirus-related restrictions.

The new decree expands the option of training to roughly 1,000 registered athletes in age categories that depending on sport means those under 18 or 19 years of age and those in the under 16 or 15 category.

However, training is allowed only if it is conducted in bubbles and in strict compliance with measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Athletes competing in Olympic and world competitions, all professional athletes over 15, and up-and-coming athletes who have achieved top-level results have already allowed to compete for several months now.

All in all, the government decree allows roughly 2,700 athletes to compete, though there is some overlap between individual categories.

The new decree follows weeks of appeals by various associations to let young athletes train and compete, with experts warning that future sporting achievements were under threat due to the long training hiatus.

Overall, professional and recreational sport remain severely restricted, but there are many exemptions that allow training.

In collective sports such as ice-hockey, basketball, football and handball top-level national, regional and international competitions are permitted and large events may be held, though without spectators.

In individual sports national competitions, European cups and large international events may be held.