May 14, 2020
On Sunday 10th May, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on the current climate due to COVID-19. Many topics were explored, from the reopening of schools to businesses resuming practice. However, one particular topic of discussion was that of safe exercise.
Here is a summary of the new rules:
· From Wednesday 13th May, English citizens will be able to spend time outdoors “for leisure purposes”.
· Outdoor exercise is now unlimited as opposed to only being allowed once a day.
· People are also allowed to sit in parks and “play sports” with residents of the same household.
· Citizens must still follow social distancing rules and remain two metres away from those outside their household.
However, Johnson’s address failed to cover a key aspect of the UK economy: the gyms. It could be suggested that gym and leisure centres fall under the hospitality umbrella. If this is the case, Johnson explained that the UK government could reopen “at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places”, but this will likely be after shops and schools are open as normal.
“Gyms won’t be open any time soon. It won’t be sooner than autumn.”
According to the Telegraph, fitness companies have “urged” the PM to reopen gyms to encourage fitness and keep people healthy. This pressure follows research suggesting that obesity can increase the risk of hospitalisation with the virus and doubles the danger of death.
“The evidence suggests that keeping the body fit and healthy could be one of the best things to do to prevent Covid-19, but I think gyms and leisure centres are quite far down on the pecking order of opening things up again, which seems pretty counter-intuitive,” said Chief executive of David Lloyd Leisure (DLL), Glenn Earlam.
“I believe leisure centres and gyms could be safely reopened quite easily, not everything would be the same at the start, there would have to be screens on reception desks, floor markings ensuring members stay two metres away and every piece of equipment would be cleaned after every use, with hand towels readily available. The numbers of people entering could also be limited, with ill people advised to stay at home.”
Speaking with BBC Radio 4’d Today programme, PureGym CEO Humphrey Cobbold said that the gym and health club chain was working to increase their hygiene standards and sanitation procedures to “provide a safe environment for the future” for its clients.
It seems that while there is confusion spreading around the future of businesses and employees, the re-introduction of gyms and fitness centres remains unsure. For now, you can continue to provide clients with at-home services, with online classes, 1-to-1 sessions, and even digital fitness plans until the gyms open.
For more information, get in touch with Fit2Train today.
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