Around a third of gyms and leisure centres will remain closed tomorrow – despite being given the green light to reopen by the Government.
Exercise spaces and indoor pools in England are permitted to welcome back members from 25 July.
However, after taking a big hit during the pandemic, one in three may stay shut, according to a new report in The Guardian.
Whilst larger facilities with privately-funded money such as The Gym Group and PureGym will return as normal from tomorrow, many council-owned leisure centres are unlikely to reopen their doors just yet – if it all – due to financial difficulties.
According to the UK Active and Community Leisure UK, as many as 1,300 could close permanently before Christmas without Government support.
Some facilities are also fearing old members will not return in the current climate.
Many Brits have created their own home gyms during the pandemic; stocking up on weights, exercise mats and machines to keep them fit throughout lockdown.
Some also remain reluctant to visit leisure centres whilst COVID-19 remains rife, with exercise venues considered some of the most difficult spaces in which to implement effective virus control measures.
The Government has issued a number of guidelines for facilities to follow in an attempt to make their premises COVID-secure.
- Limitations on number of people inside at any one time
- Enhanced cleaning and addition of hand sanitiser stations
- Rearranging equipment, layout and walkways to ensure social distancing
- Floor markings for classes and exercise rooms
- Encouraging members to shower at home and limit use of changing rooms
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Our comprehensive guidance will ensure gyms, pools and leisure centres have the support they need to reopen safely for their customers and staff.
“Helping people return to gyms safely will also help the nation get match-fit to defeat this virus.”