Around 30 to 40 Floridians protested outside of a Clearwater, Florida courthouse out of frustration that gyms aren't open yet. The group, who are currently not social distancing, demonstrated peacefully with signs, push-ups and squats. Aerial views from a local television station's helicopter caught the group in action as they seem more than ready for phase two to get underway.
At one point, members yelled at local authorities to reconsider their ban on gym closures. Some protesters held American flags, while one held a sign that read "Freedom for Fear." The state of Florida has allowed some businesses to re-open including restaurants, retail stores and salons. Authorities say the sunshine state will plan to re-open gyms in phase two with limited capacity, however, no date on when the next phase will start.
Gyms have been a hot topic while people have been quarantining inside their home since mid-March. 24-Hour Fitness received backlash from its members after they continued to charge a membership fee despite them not being allowed to workout on the premises. However, the gym is trying to make it up to people by adding a free month at the end of their membership cycle. Since shutting down March 16, payments made between March 17 and April 15 were not refunded but they'll just add that month on to the end of their membership. On April 16, the gym stopped their billing and are currently awaiting permission to re-open their doors.
Actors Mark Wahlberg and Mario Lopez received backlash as well after the two aired their workout together when fans found out it was shot in a Los Angeles, California gym, following workout facility closures. At the time, L.A. residents were urged to stay home unless they worked for an essential business or needed to go to the grocery store, so when fans saw the two workout together inside a gym, they were less than pleased. While their followers may not have been happy with the two Hollywood stars, some gym users were shocked with the popular facility Equinox when they gave out a little advice for their members during lockdown. Equinox encouraged people to have sex with a headline titled "Have an Orgasm Before Bed," claiming that having sex can help reduce anxiety and aid in sleep.