Reformer Fitness Center, Holoseum Museum Refuse to Obey Tightened Restrictions

The fitness center 'Reformer Fitness' in Batumi, and Holoseum, a museum without frames, have declared their refusal to obey the tightened and expanded restrictions imposed by the Georgian government aimed at slowing down the spread of coronavirus.

Both facilities announced their decisions publicly on social media.

Zurab Japaridze, the leader of the opposition political party Girchi, rented the building of 'Reformer Fitness' as an "apartment" and invited people to work out, after gyms throughout the country were closed in accordance with the newly imposed restrictions

Following the above move, law enforcers entered the facility and made him leave the building, simultaneously issuing a fine of 10,000 GEL to the fitness center for disobeying the  government's decision. Japaridze himself was summoned to the police station in connection with the incident.

The members of Girchi noted that the fitness center was privately owned and so the police had no right to enter.

The representatives of the fitness center say are not going to pay the fine. Despite the administrative penalty, 'Reformer Fitness' in Batumi continued to work.

On November 30, the Ministry of Internal Affairs released a statement regarding the sealing of 'Reformer Fitness', saying that on November 28, “due to urgent necessity, the Adjara Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs carried out investigative activities in "Online Magic" Ltd, the so-called "Reformer Fitness" club, as a result of which the mentioned fitness club was sealed."

The Ministry said an investigation was launched on the basis of materials provided by the Labor Conditions Inspection.

The representatives of the fitness center note that currently, the investigation is underway and the employees are being interrogated. Their interests are being protected by the Georgian Young Lawyers Association.

“We, as a responsible business, are against receiving any kind of financial assistance and/or privilege from the state budget. We demand the right of free choice, free labor, to create our own prosperity in a free, healthy, competitive environment with our talents and skills!

“It is unfair for the state to deprive one of something (who has the ability to work) and give to another. Our fight goes on! Friends, we do not have any significant news at the moment except that the investigation process is ongoing, the employees are being interrogated. No charges have been filed against us yet.

“We will try to get back to the usual rhythm as soon as possible. Our interests are protected by the Georgian Young Lawyers Association. Thank you so much everyone for your support,” stated the representatives of 'Reformer Fitness.'

Another facility, the Holoseum Museum, has also followed the example of 'Reformer Fitness.'

“Although due to a violent decision by the state we had to close Holoseum, we will be back in an updated form on weekends. We are not going to become the victims of the laziness of the state. 'Reformer Fitness' center is a wonderful inspiration and we too will try to be an additional inspiration to others. We have 1000 square meters of open space, the strongest ventilation and air filtration systems and all the norms that even ensure your safety, but they still shut us down.

“We also take into account that most of the people in the country today have lost their income, lost the motivation to go out, and so we decided to open in such a new way that you will be able to visit us for free. Yes, visiting Holoseum will be free from now on, both during the pandemic and in the future,” reads the statement released by Holoseum.

For the record, on November 28, the Georgian government decided to tighten and expand restrictions throughout the country. Based on the decision of the Interagency Coordination Council, until January 31, certain economic activities are prohibited, including the operation of municipal and intercity transport, gyms and swimming pools, restaurants, etc. 

By Ana Dumbadze 

Related Story: Georgian Gov't Announces Tightened & Expanded Restrictions

02 December 2020 21:04