Although most businesses are now open, albeit with restrictions, the fate of public gymnasiums, parlours and salons remains uncertain.
The opinion of people on the decision to not open these facilities remains divided as well.
While many have welcomed the decision as their opening may pose immediate health risks, there are others who think otherwise.
The restrictions have impacted not only the livelihood of the people engaged in these businesses but also disrupted the fitness regimens of enthusiasts and professionals who are into the entertainment industry including models, vloggers, actors and filmmakers.
Baqar Haider, founder and coach of Oman Kickboxing Club and Gym, said, “I am really delighted to hear the news of hotel gyms opening up. With coronavirus restrictions being in place for nearly five months, I think we have all realised that we don’t have freedom to work out at our own discretion. The decision to open only hotel gyms is understandable. I feel there will be a huge boost in memberships in all the different types of gyms when everything is fully operational again.”
He added, “Everyone has had plenty of time to reflect on their life choices and habits and I think achieving and maintaining good health is at the top of the list for most people. Social interaction is very important and overall exercise not only keeps you fit, but helps you de-stress allowing you to be a more positive figure in your home, social and work environment. Many things previously taken for granted now won’t be and we at the Oman Kickboxing Club are eager to open our doors again.”
Along with the gyms, barber shops and beauty parlours too face an uncertainty.
Litton, a barber from Bangladesh, said, “I was expecting parlours would open with the last decision, which sadly wasn’t the case. For over five months we have been unemployed and we feel totally ignored and left out. We are left with no job and food. Some kind-hearted countrymen have helped us out with rations but it is tough to go on like this.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Asila al Namani, who runs a ladies salon, said, “It has been tough for us during these months. But I welcome the government’s decision to hold on to the ban on us for a few more days. They are much more wise and people with fair decisions and judgements. Let us be hopeful as the pandemic is a serious matter and we suffered greatly as these restrictions have affected our businesses and family income.”
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