Gyms in England could be open by the fourth of July or soon after if lobbying by the fitness industry comes to fruition.
The government had initially hinted that gyms would be unlikely to reopen before October, however, Huw Edwards, chief executive of ukactive, has told the Guardianthat talks are ongoing with the government around reopening far sooner, saying “The government has said to us nothing before the fourth of July. Our plan is to take government and Public Health England officials out to sites to reassure them that gyms can safely implement social distancing. We are going to be a completely open book.”
He said he was “cautiously optimistic the industry could be back on its feet by the summer,” saying: “We want to open in a way which is safe for staff and customers, allows people to come back and train, and then gets businesses up and running again.”
ukactive has coordinated a strong industry response to the shutdown, by rallying operators to coordinate action and publishing operating standards for gym owners to follow in delivering against COVID-19 compliant procedures and contributing to research showing the demand for gyms among consumers.
The organisation has also been tireless in stressing the value of the physical activity sector in combatting health issues around obesity, the control of excess body fat and other health factors around lifestyle diseases which are known to worsen outcomes in COVID-19 cases.