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‘Fitness is essential’: Maskless workout held in Burnaby mall food court to protest closures

Gyms and fitness clubs have been closed since Dec. 22.

A group of maskless people staged a fitness workout in a Burnaby mall on Saturday to protest the closure of gyms and fitness clubs in B.C. due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Instagram account @thevanessastone posted a video about the event, which took place in the food court of Metropolis at Metrotown before mall security shut it down. Provincial health orders include a mandate that masks be worn when people are in indoor public spaces such as shopping malls.

Some people worked out while carrying signs with such slogans as “fitness is essential.”

A post on Instagram implied that more of these public protests are in the works.

Wow!! what an amazing day and an amazing turn out,” read the @thevanessastone Instagram post. “So, so, appreciate all the messages and support from everyone! Thank you so much to those who made it. Your energy was fire and my heart is so full. Let’s spread this message FAR and WIDE. If you want to come to the next one, share and comment on this post! Let’s spread the message and get the next event quadruple the size! I’m sure without explaining it, you can all agree, these mandates in effect do absolutely nothing to improve our mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual health, nor improve immunity. Let’s fight the GOOD fight for our freedom and keep our true North Strong and Free.”

The new orders closing gyms and bars came into effect on Dec. 22, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. and were set to expire on Jan. 18. However, the B.C. Ministry of Health confirmed in an email to Glacier Media that they have been extended and an update will be provided in the Jan. 18 briefing. 

Some gyms and fitness centres in B.C. have defied the closure order, incurring fines and being investigated by health authorities.

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