Gyms to reopen in 'a couple of weeks' after coronavirus lockdown, Boris Johnson confirms

Gyms to reopen in 'a couple of weeks' after coronavirus lockdown, Boris Johnson confirms

July 3, 2020

GYMS will be allowed to reopen in "a couple of weeks," Boris Johnson confirmed today.

The news will come as a welcome relief to bulging Brits looking to regain their fitness – after months of gyms and leisure centres being shut.

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It means fitness centres will follow the reopening of pubs, restaurants, cinemas and hotels on July 4 – although they will not reopen with them on Super Saturday.

Instead, they are expected to open in mid July, although the PM did not give the exact date.

Speaking of Britain's new freedoms, Mr Johnson told LBC: "The best way forward for the country is to get the economy moving again."

He added: "We are going to reopen gyms as soon as we can do it in a Covid-secure way and I think that the date for reopening gyms at the moment, if we can do it, is in just a couple of weeks' time."

The government had previously confirmed the opening of gyms would not be far behind the hospitality sector, which is set to open on July 4.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said last month that opening gyms could be possible “at some point later on in July”.

And the majority of fitness chains have already revealed how they've introduced social distancing measures to keep their sites safe.

The Gym Group

The Gym Group is upping its cleaning routine and will be asking members to disinfect their machines after use.

It'll also install contactless entry to its sites, as well as introducing and sanitiser stations.

Some machines will be turned off altogether, while others will have screens between them to separate customers.

It'll also ask everyone to limit their workout time to no longer than one hour.

Fitness First

Fitness First will also have enhanced hygiene measures when it reopens its 120 gyms, including PPE for staff members.

Like The Gym Group, it'll be encouraging members to help clean their machines after use.

They'll have cleaning stations and hand sanitisers around the gym floor to help you do this.

Equipment has also been spaced out so fitness buffs can keep two metres apart, while some will be turned off completely.

Temperature checks may also be performed upon entry – which will also be contactless – to ensure you're well enough to workout.

PureGym

PureGym will space out equipment and turn some machines off to accommodate social distancing.

They'll also have boxes marked out on their gym floors to show how much space you have to work out.

In addition, they'll be even more regularly cleaning in place and members will be asked to wipe down their machines with disinfectant after they've finished.

PureGym will also limit the number of customers allowed inside at one time, and they'll have a similar function on their app where you can see how busy your nearest gym is.

Contactless entry will be encouraged when you arrive, as well as the use of hand sanitisers.

PureGym has around 260 sites across the UK.

David Lloyd

Around 50 clubs have started rolling out new outdoor exercise timetables, with up to 90 classes being offered a week.

Classes on offer will include group exercises, yoga, pilates and bootcamp-style workouts such as HIIT.

There will be a maximum of five gym members plus an instructor allowed per session, and each person will have a designated area to work out in.

David Lloyd has also started opening outdoor tennis courts at 70 sites.

Like other chains, some equipment has been moved apart to allow for social distancing.

Customers are also being asked to arrive in their workout kit if possible.

In addition, David Lloyd has confirmed an increased cleaning routine to keep its gyms safe.

David Lloyd has 115 gym clubs across the country – see more details about the changes you can expect here.

Feelgood Fitness and Wellness Centre

Gyms will also use screens, as well as a one-way system to keep fitness fanatics safe.

There will also be a strict no stop and chat rules to keep fitness fanatics safe.

For example, The Gym Group has installed screens around treadmills and turned off some equipment completely.

It'll also have enhanced cleaning routines in place, and the chain is asking members to keep their workout time to a maximum of one hour.

Speaking after today's announcement, The Gym Group said it was "disappointed" to have to delay its reopening.

Businesses that can open on July 4

Several businesses will be allowed to reopen from tomorrow, including the following:

  • Hotels, hostels bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses 
  • Places of Worship
  • Libraries
  • Community Centres
  • Restaurants, Cafes and Workplace Canteens
  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Cinemas
  • Bingo Halls
  • Theatres and concert halls, but no live music  
  • Museums and galleries
  • Hair salons and barbers
  • Outdoor playgrounds
  • Outdoor gyms
  • Funfairs,  theme parks and adventure parks and activities
  • Amusement arcades
  • Outdoor skating rinks
  • Other indoor leisure centres or facilities, including indoor games, recreation and entertainment venues
  • Social Clubs
  • Model villages
  • Indoor attractions at aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centres and any place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction.

Meanwhile, Fitness First will have similar cleaning measures in place and will even temperature check customers to make sure they're well enough to work out.

Government sources said gyms carried a “far greater risk of infection” due to people breathing harder and touching surfaces.

Gyms across the UK have been shut since March 20 after all "non-essential" stores and services were told to close.

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