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Wed, 23 September 2020

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Minister says government ‘aspiring’ to reopen gyms in mid-July as they miss out on latest lockdown easing plan

Minister says government ‘aspiring’ to reopen gyms in mid-July as they miss out on latest lockdown easing plan

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced the Government's intention to reopen gyms in July (PA)

2 min read

The Government has an “aspiration” to re-open gyms and other indoor leisure centres in mid-July, the Culture Secretary has said.

Oliver Dowden said that indoor workout facilities — which have now been closed for more than three months — would be allowed to open up again from the middle of next month “subject to public health” conditions being met.

Boris Johnson on Wednesday gave the thumbs-up to a raft of facilities reopening on July 4, including hotels, pubs, bars, cinemas and restaurants. 

But indoor gyms, fitness and dance studios, swimming pools and water parks were among those listed by the Government as staying shut until medical advice suggests a further relaxation of the rules is warranted.

Writing on Twitter after the PM’s announcement, Mr Dowden said: “Many people [are] keen to hit the gym and keeping Britain fit is key in Covid battle.”

The Culture Secretary added: “We’ve made lots of progress and I know steps businesses have taken to make their spaces & equipment safe.

“Subject to public health, our aspiration is to reopen gyms and leisure facilities in mid-July.”

Gyms were formally shut on March 20 after weeks of falling usage as the coronavirus continued to spread across the country.

Some providers have since switched to offering at-home fitness classes and allowed gym-goers to pause their membership during the shutdown.

In a bid to reassure customers that their facilities are safe, some gyms have vowed to display an ‘Approved Covid-19 Response’ logo in their facilities — with equipment expected to be spaced out, hand washing stations introduced around gyms, and limits on numbers allowed to attend.

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