An empty fitness center. Photo via Pixabay

Citing the full reopening of the state’s economy, a fitness industry group dropped a complaint challenging restrictions placed on gym operations during the height of the pandemic.

With Tuesday – the day Gov. Gavin Newsom said most coronavirus restrictions will be lifted – almost here, the California Fitness Alliance has elected to work with the state.

Attorney Scott J. Street stated in court papers filed Tuesday with in Los Angeles that after discussions between his client and representatives for the state and Newsom, the parties decided to “collaborate in reopening California after June 15, emphasizing the importance of health and fitness as Californians move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The CFA lawsuit was among others filed challenging health orders that affected gyms. A federal judge in February denied a request from 25 San Diego County gyms and fitness centers that sued to resume indoor operations despite COVID-19 restrictions.

In the Los Angeles complaint, filed last Sept. 14, the CFA argued that the state and county erred in preventing Californians from having what the plaintiffs maintained were equitable and safe access to indoor fitness centers.

The plaintiffs maintained there are proven health benefits from exercise and that it is vital to physical as well as mental health.

The suit asked a judge to terminate the public stay-at-home order in effect at the time, and for a finding that county officials abused their discretion by refusing to allow fitness establishments to reopen after the closure order was issued last July 13.

In court papers, Deputy Attorney General Brian S. Chan said none of the state’s orders was too broad.

“The human and economic toll of COVID-19 is indisputable and the hardships (the CFA) and others are experiencing are real,” Chan wrote. “But the measures the state has taken are consistent with state law, are directly related to slowing and stopping the spread of this highly infectious and dangerous disease and fall well within the (state’s) authority and discretion.”

The restrictions were relaxed earlier this year, allowing gyms to reopen at limited capacity with a requirement that patrons wear masks.

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