Shares of Planet Fitness (NYSE:PLNT) have jumped more than +2.3% in morning and midday trading today after an announcement New York state will likely allow gyms to reopen next Monday, Aug. 24. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the move today at a press conference, along with providing an outline of the health and safety measures newly reopened gyms will be required to follow in the Empire State.
In an effort to prevent a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, gyms will have to maintain ventilation meeting strict state standards, limit capacity to 33% of total, and enforce the wearing of masks among their clientele, according to Cuomo's statement. Additional details on the state's new gym health regulations will be released later today.
There will also be a requirement for municipal governments to carry out health inspections to ensure compliance. Cuomo stressed the point, remarking "local elected officials will make the decision in a jurisdiction and the local health department must inspect before or within two weeks to make sure all the guidelines are in place."
Gyms are among the last businesses in New York State to receive the go-ahead to reopen. Planet Fitness predictably took a financial wallop from gym closures across the country, while online rivals streaked ahead. However, the company still has some important advantages, such as low cost and a full range of workout machines. Despite shutdowns, only 4% of Planet Fitness's members canceled their memberships during the second quarter, highlighting the business's likely continued viability when the coronavirus recedes.
While Planet Fitness's stock is trading lower than its pre-COVID-19 peak in early to mid-February 2020, it is now on par with share price levels in August 2019.