Boston gym owners are petitioning against the local COVID-19 mask mandate because it is badly affecting their business more than others.
“It’s preventing us from getting above water,” The Handle Bar Cycling Studio owner Jess Fracalossi told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday.
Fracalossi described that their business has been struggling since the pandemic began due to the “sensitivity of the virus.”
Her business started “making strides in July” and started to get back to normal, however the emergence of the Delta variant and a new mask mandate “slashed” her numbers again.
“We have been through so much and a lot of people are apologetic but they’re not going to come in and ride when they have to wear a mask. A lot of people are sticking with it and trying but they are not coming as frequently. It’s sad, it’s hard.”
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Boston gym owners have joined together to start a petition against the mask mandate, collecting signatures to send to Boston Acting Mayor Kim Janey and Gov. Charlie Baker.
“Due to the increased difficulty in breathing while exercising, mask mandates hit our attendance more severely than any other industry,” the petition reads.
“The business owners behind the petition polled their clients and found revenue and attendance has dropped 50% since 2019. Operators like Becca Skudder, found of MyStryde fitness studios, said the return of the latest indoor mask mandate torpedoed attendance in classes at her Boston studios,” according to the Boston Herald.
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Fracalossi and others had a meeting with a city official to discuss their concerns.
“We got a little bit of a meeting on Zoom with a city councilor, but, you know, there is no explanation for why the bars and restaurants are packed shoulder to shoulder, but as long as you have food on the table or a drink in your hand you don’t have to wear a mask,” she said.
“But in our industry, there are no exceptions and it is so much more devastating for us because it is a sure-fire way for someone to decide not to work out because it’s far less comfortable than it normally is.”