Our statement on the government's decision not to reopen gyms
We are extremely disappointed that the Prime Minister has decided not to include indoor gyms in his announcement today on easing of restrictions, which will prevent us at PureGym from providing access to gyms for our million plus members. This intense disappointment will be shared by our sector and the ten million gym members across the UK.
We understand that these decisions are not easy, but it is a strange ‘war on obesity’ that sees pubs and restaurants open before gyms. Our facilities are, on average, the size of five or six doubles tennis courts and are exceptionally well ventilated, enabling people to work and exercise safely and securely. Through our existing electronic entry system, we know the names and details of every single member in our facilities at any moment.
Detailed, industry-agreed guidance was submitted to the government on May 7th. The protocols we suggested – which had been developed with the input of recognised medical experts - covered all aspects of hygiene, disinfection, access control, physical separation, number limitations per venue, monitoring and oversight, education and training. We are confident we can provide a safe place for people to work and a safe place to workout having already opened our gyms in Switzerland and Denmark over the last 6 weeks. In those countries, we have welcomed over a million visitors since reopening, with protocols very similar to those we suggested for the UK. We have been audited and visited by police and authorities in those countries on over 60 occasions and passed every test and, as far as we know, there have been no incidents of transmission or infection.
Our sector provides truly vital support to the mental and physical well-being of the UK public and specifically in the fight against Covid-19. We are bitterly disappointed that the one sector that has the potential to help people and that has developed clearly workable protocols for safe operations is prevented from opening for a further undefined period. We urgently call on the Prime Minister to re-examine the evidence, engage with us and our industry bodies, and allow people back into gyms as soon as possible.
Come and see for yourself how we're getting our gyms safe for our members. Click here
ukactive's letter to the prime minister
Chair of our industry body ukactive, Tanni Grey-Thompson, has written to the Prime Minister seeking clarity on the decision to delay the reopening of gyms and leisure facilities, outlining the threats to community health during the COVID-19 crisis and calling for a clear timetable.read here