When Will My Pilates Studio Open?

During The Pilates Report webinars I have frequently been asked when I think that Pilates Studios will reopen. The simple answer is I do not know! Each community is unique and we have already seen that community leaders have chosen to make different decisions.

These are the themes I have observed as I talk to Pilates Professionals from all over the world.

What Needs to be Understood

Community leaders are asking themselves six questions to determine when to re-open their communities.

  1. Testing Capability. Is there sufficient and fast enough testing to monitor any outbreaks, including by tracing, testing and isolating people who have been exposed to the virus?
  2. Infection Protection. Can we prevent infections in vulnerable communities, such as among older people, those experiencing homelessness, and essential workers?
  3. Hospital Capacity. Are hospitals equipped to handle surges of patients, with enough beds, ventilators and protective equipment for workers?
  4. Therapeutics. Do therapies exist that can help patients recover more quickly from the virus or a vaccine that prevents infection?
  5. Physical Environments. Has the physical environment been adapted to allow plenty of space for people to keep their distance?
  6. Monitoring Ability. Do we have the ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.

The Four Phases Of Reopening

Many officials see the re-opening of their communities happening in multiple phases. The following is based on California's plans and is similar to other regions.

Phase 1 - Shelter In Place

Most of the world is presently in this phase. Government and private organizations are working to make it safer for essential workers, like grocery store employees or nurses.

During this phase, investments are made in creating testing capability, increasing hospital capacity, providing essential workers with protective equipment and creating more robust monitoring systems.

Phase 2 - Low-Risk Locations Open

Lower infection risk businesses and public spaces can reopen provided they make modifications to allow for distancing. These include workplaces like factories, with more spaced-out workstations or non-grocery retail stores, but with curbside pickup. Schools and childcare facilities would also be reopened during this phase.

During this time investments continue to be made as they are during Phase 1 while carefully monitoring the impact of the virus. If the virus is seen to be spreading then the community returns to Phase 1 (shelter in place). If the virus activity continues to decline then the community moves to Phase 3.

Phase 3 - High-Risk Locations Open

Higher infection risk businesses will be able to reopen with modifications. This includes nail and hair salons, gyms, movie theaters, and sports without live audiences, as well as in-person religious services.

This phase comes to an end when either the virus activity is minimal or therapeutics have been created that either help patients recover or vaccinate them against the virus.

Phase 4 - All Restrictions End

All stay-at-home orders are lifted. This will be when concerts, conventions, and sports with a live crowd will be allowed to reopen.

In all communities, if the virus activity increases the community plans to return to the prior phase.

How Long Will Each Phase Last?

Nobody knows! Phase 1 seems to be lasting somewhere around the 3 months and it is shorter if the shelter in place is more restrictive and was imposed when there were fewer infections.

Many experts have predicted that it could be the second half of 2021 before a vaccine is available. This will indicate the ability to start Phase 4.

When Will Pilates Studios Open?

If they have been modified to minimize infection, they will probably be allowed to open during Phase 2. What are the modifications that will be needed by local governments? This will vary, but some of the changes expected are increased spacing between clients while performing Pilates, more rigorous cleaning protocols, and less congregation of clients through schedule changes.

When Will Clients Return To The Pilates Studio?

It all depends on the client. If you are an older client with a compromised immune system it probably makes sense to wait until a vaccine is available. If you are young and healthy and you feel confident that you have the antibodies that will keep the virus away you might return as soon as the studio opens.


What are your thoughts? Please add them in the comments below.

John Marston
About the Author

John Marston

John co-founded Pilates Anytime with Kristi Cooper and Ted Johnson in 2009. He enjoys the great outdoors, music, food, and new experiences.


2 people like this.
I’m curious as to how others feel about their Home Studio.  I have a small group of clients that come for privates in what is basically my living room.  My husband has said “absolutely not” to welcoming anyone back.  I understand where he’s coming from, but this breaks my heart.  I’m also curious about the Teacher Protocol when returning to a studio/gym environment and keeping ourselves/families safe.  Masks, gloves, no touch, stay 6ft away at all times? (Husband would also prefer I don’t return to work for the foreseeable future.)
4 people like this.
Hello Anne, my studio, LB Pilates Studios in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, opened back up today... May 11, 2020. I have complied with the Swiss government regulations and have separated my Reformers by 2 meters and will also keep the same distance between myself and my clients. There will be no hands-on tactile cues for now. They will change their own springs. The cleaning of the equipment is exactly the same as prior to the corona virus as my standards of hygiene and cleanliness are extremely high. Shoes are removed prior to entering and hands are washed upon arrival. I am requiring they bring a sports towel to put down on the Reformer carriage and (as always) wear ToeSox. I make my own sanitizing spray for the equipment, which is thoroughly cleaned after each client, as wall as airing out between sessions. For more information on my protocol you can refer to my IG: @labriecepilates. I hope this was helpful! ~LB

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