A petition to keep gyms and fitness centres open under Tier 3 rules could be put up for debate in the House of Commons after receiving huge support.
Currently, health facilities must close if they are in a ‘very high risk’ area.
But thousands have rushed to back a new campaign which asks for “gyms to not be put in the same group as pubs in terms of risk or importance” and therefore remain operational – even in Tier 3 regions.
According to the government, petitions which reach 100,000 signatures “are almost always debated.”
Despite only going live this week, the ‘keep gyms open’ campaign has nearly accrued the six-figure support required to be put in front of parliament.
A new tier system has come into effect from today (14 October) – separating regions in England by their risk level (‘medium’, ‘high’, and ‘very high’).
So far, only the Liverpool City Region has been placed into the highest risk category of Tier 3 – which has led to the closure of hospitality and leisure in Liverpool, Knowsley, Wirral, St Helens, Sefton and Halton.
There has also been a total ban on household mixing in these areas.
Gyms have also been told to shut down whilst the region remains under Tier 3 restrictions.
But many members of the sector are backing the campaign to overturn the ruling – including Pure Gym who have claimed the “facts indicate that gyms are safe with no evidence of Covid-19 transmission.”
According to the Liverpool Echo, the fitness company are even considering taking legal action.
Directly elected Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has distanced himself from the decision to shut fitness facilities – calling it a “Government decision”.
The Mayor also claimed he told Number 10 that “gyms are safer than supermarkets” during tier discussions, but the government were committed to closing hospitality and leisure.
Greater Manchester was originally placed into Tier 2 – or ‘high’ risk – category, leaving many businesses to operate as normal.
However, a Gold Command meeting is set to be held later this afternoon to reconsider whether the region should be reclassified as Tier 3.
This would mean that workout centres must close across all ten boroughs.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said that the city will “not accept” any attempts by the government to bump up the alert level in the region.
“Since one meeting on Friday, the Government has not discussed these matters with us,” said the Mayor.
“Instead, the pressure is being piled on via media briefings.
“Later today I will set out why the current Tier 3 proposal is fundamentally flawed and why we won’t accept it.”