As the UK Government continues to ease out lockdown restrictions, indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities have been allowed to reopen.
Following an announcement by the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden at the beginning of the month, several gyms and leisure centres will be able to reopen from July 25, with strict hygiene and social distancing measures.
However, about a third of public facilities will remain closed for security reasons. The health secretary, Matt Hancock, said that exercise facilities in Luton and Blackburn with Darwen will not be allowed to reopen, due to a surge in Covid-19 cases in those areas.
A number of gyms and leisure centres face an “uncertain future” due to the negative financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic and might lose around £305 million this year., the District Councils` Network has warned.
According to Community Leisure UK, the members` association that specialises in representing charitable leisure and culture trusts across England, Scotland and Wales, about 48 per cent of all public leisure facilities shut down by the end of the year, along with 58,000 job cuts.
The chief executive of Community Leisure UK, Mark Tweedie, said: “We’re expecting at least 35 per cent not to open tomorrow. The main reason is financial viability, because as with all of the high streets and services – zero income since the end of March.”
He added: “So what some operators are doing is saying ‘well we can’t open at all because we’ve just got mainly pools only’, or ‘if we’ve got a pool and a gym, we’ll just open the gym and not the pool because that will help us recover financially”.
As the number of coronavirus fatalities in the UK is constantly increasing, people will be urged to observe social distancing rules and to shower at home after their exercises.