England has been in a second lockdown since November 5, meaning the closure of all non-essential shops and hospitality venues. The lockdown has also seen gyms and leisure centres close, which came as bad news to people relying on exercise for a way out of the house. With the winter weather’s arrival, outdoor exercise has become much more difficult than it was in the first Spring lockdown.
When can gyms reopen?
Under the new rules, gyms and leisure centres will be allowed to reopen in all three tiers.
The new rules were announced in the House of Commons by the Prime Minister via video conference call.
Recreational sport, including golf, tennis and team sports will also be allowed to go ahead. Gyms will be able to reopen in England on December 2, when the lockdown ends.
Unlike the previous system, the Prime Minister said the new tier system will be non-negotiable and apply to everyone.
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He said: “More regions will fall, at least temporarily, into higher levels that before.”
Addressing the situation, the Prime Minister told the Commons: “This will still be a hard winter.
“Christmas cannot be normal and there is a long road to spring. But we have turned a corner and the escape route is in sight.
“We must hold out against the virus until testing and vaccines come to our rescue and reduce the need for restrictions.”
There are, however, expected to be strict rules in place for people wanting a workout.
Gymgoers will likely have to book a time slot, according to the Telegraph, while class sizes could be reduced.
In addition, equipment will likely be more spaced out to allow for social distancing, while all the facilities will be frequently cleaned and sanitised.
Athletes and gym owners previously hit out at the Government for “ignoring the science” by closing gyms.
They claimed closing them was a move that would damage the nation’s physical and mental health, and disproportionately affect those living in more densely populated urban areas.
Owner of Yoga Venue in Cowley, Caroline Falce Gozzi said her service helps to boost customers’ mental and physical health during the lockdown.
She said: “The impact that the last lockdown has had on mental health in the country has been huge.
“Physical health has declined, and all the evidence suggests we need to get fit and healthy to beat Covid-19.
“In addition, UK Active has undertaken research that shows the rate of transmission from Covid-19 secure gyms and fitness studios is insignificant.”