Finally: Restaurant terraces, cinemas and fitness centres are open again

  22.04.2021 Sports & Leisure

A delicious lunch in a restaurant, a coffee on the terrace, sweating in a fitness centre, swimming in a pool or watching a film in a cinema after work: all this was not possible for months. Since Monday, these industries are allowed to open their businesses again. Restaurant owners are happy to finally serve their guests again, even if only on the terrace for the time being. The fact that the fitness centre and the indoor swimming pool are allowed to reopen is also well received in Saanenland. And in the Gstaad cinema, films are screening again after six long months.

Terraces as first step
The first step of easing restrictions includes the opening of restaurant terraces. Guests can now again take a seat and enjoy table service. Christof Huber, president of the Hotelierverein Gstaad-Saanenland, summarises: "The terrace openings are a first important step for our industry and a positive ray of hope on the horizon."

"Guests can now be served outside again with the proven protection concepts. However, there are restaurants without a terrace or outdoor seating. Additionally, the weather makes planning very difficult. This, in turn, has a big impact on profitability." Reactions in the industry to the opening of terraces are a mixture of scepticism and optimism. "We still hope for a quick and complete opening of the restaurants," Huber adds in conclusion.

"Small programme" in the sports centre
The fact that the fitness centres are allowed to reopen is well received in the industry. "We are very pleased and happy that we can reopen, although this is only possible with a lot of restrictions," says Ruedi Kunz, managing director of the Gstaad sports centre. The group fitness area (group classes), for example, opens with a "small programme". On the one hand, "small" stands for the group size with a maximum of ten participants, and masks are compulsory during the classes. On the other hand, "small" stands for a limited range of courses. "Unfortunately, due to the many restrictions, we cannot offer all the usual classes," says Kunz.

Classes are available at a special tariff, says Kunz. Advanced registration is mandatory, either in person at the reception or by e-mail. During opening hours, the mini-golf course, the solarium and the tennis hall are also open.

Swimming in the indoor pool
The indoor swimming pool has also been open again since Monday, but only for lane swimming recreational and playing activities in or around the pool are not allowed. As for fitness classes, registration is mandatory, and access is limited to a maximum of 15 people. The outdoor pool, the paddling area, the diving board and the water slide remain closed.

Kunz warns that changes may occur at any time since the various associations are constantly adapting protection concepts.

Move It is also open again
In compliance with the FOPH regulations and according to the protection concept of the Swiss Fitness and Health Centre Association SFGV, people can exercise again at Move It fitness club. Access is restricted to ten people and, if the fitness club is full, for a maximum of 90 minutes. Reservations are not compulsory but recommended.

Curtain up at the Gstaad cinema
The Ciné-Theatre Gstaad owner is also pleased to be able to open its doors and curtains again. After almost six months, the first films will be screening this week. Owner Hansjörg Beck – like many other cinema owners – did not expect this permission at such short notice.

In addition to the mask requirement, distance rules apply in the form of a generous distribution of seats. The possible number of 200 guests is reduced to a maximum of 50. The kiosk will remain closed. The possibility of an intermission during a longer performance is still under discussion, says Beck upon request. Possibly, a break will be inserted for the sole purpose of going to the toilet.

Beck sees no problems in applying the measures in place: "Our staff checks the visitors both at the entrance and at the box office." The timing of the opening defuses the situation anyway since the cinema is rather well frequented at Christmas, New Year and in February. "The spring months – after Easter until mid-May – are the quietest," informs Beck. Nevertheless, he is optimistic as he had to put some attractive films on hold due to the lockdown and can now show them. He appreciates the opening steps of the Federal Council: "People are happy to be able to do something in the evenings again. And I'm happy to be able to work again."

Based on AvS/Jenny Sterchi/Anita Moser/Sophia Grasser

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