Ministers are going to be asked to re-think the plan for gym classes in England from next week.
Under the new three-tier proposals announced yesterday, they won’t be allowed in the very high alert areas.
From 2 December gyms can re-open no matter what tier they’re in – but if you’re a fan of HIIT or yoga, they’ll be banned in tier three.
UKactive, which represents a lot of the fitness industry, says it’s “disappointed” and wants this changed.
Ministers say group classes will have to close in tier three because worries coronavirus could quickly spread in them.
‘Social distancing, sanitisation and ventilation’
This announcement shows a positive shift in the Government’s desire to strengthen our nation’s physical and mental resilience,” says Huw Edwards, CEO of UKactive.
“However, we are disappointed to note that indoor group exercise is included in tier three restrictions and will not be permitted unless in household groups or bubbles.”
The body says it wants the government to change its decision and carry out a review into the role physical activity plays in society.
“The sector has proven this activity can be undertaken in a manner that is safe,” says Huw.
“Using a combination of social distancing, sanitisation and increased ventilation.”
What are gym rules under the new tier system in England?
- TIER 1: Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes can continue to take place – if the rule of six is followed.
- TIER 2: Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be allowed if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with).
- TIER 3: Leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead.
The government has yet to respond to this call by the fitness industry, but the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he’s “very sorry” for the problems these measures are causing for business owners.
But he added that “things will look and feel very different” after Easter as a vaccine is rolled out.
Measures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will continue to be decided by its local governments, but a joint approach to Christmas is set to be announced.