Yesterday the government announced the reopening of pubs and restaurants on the 4th July but not indoor gyms and leisure facilities.

If you were fully expecting your local gym to reopen on 4th July, you may be disappointed by the government announcement on 23rd June that they won’t be permitted to open their doors on the 4th.

While outdoor gyms in parks can reopen, indoor gyms and studios, swimming pools and other indoor sports facilities won’t be able to reopen on the 4th July.

The logic behind this is apparently due the number of surfaces touched in a gym, and heavier breathing, therefore increasing the risk of the virus spreading.

We asked Duncan Jefford, Regional Director of Everyone Active which operates over 190 leisure facilities across the UK, to share his views on this decision. ‘We have been working extremely hard to implement stringent safety and hygiene measures within all our centres and are greatly disappointed to learn that indoor gyms will not be able to open in the next wave of lockdown easing measures,’ he told us. ‘Whilst all parts of the economy are important, it is regretful that pubs and restaurants have been given precedence over gyms and leisure centres, especially given the positive connection between exercise and a strong immune system, not to mention improved physical and mental wellbeing. We are, however, hopeful that the public and industry reaction to this news is making the government reconsider and we remain optimistic that we will be able to open our centres by mid-July.’

The right decision?

We asked our audience on the Women’s Fitness Facebook page what they thought of the government’s decision and whether or not gyms should be allowed to reopen on the 4th July.

One reader said: ‘Pubs and restaurants can open but not gyms? Crazy! I’d feel safer in my gym where I can clean equipment before and after, use my hand sanitiser and even wear a mask, plus they will have a strict protocol in place.’

Another said: ‘Correct decision. You may be needing the gym, but the virus needs exactly a gym environment to spread. The experts know this and have put these measures in place to protect us. Be grateful and we will all be back soon.’

‘I miss my gym with true intensity and that’s hard to admit,’ said another reader. ‘But if you know you know. At a time when we could all use some escapism and stress-busting, I hope we can go back safely soon.’

The government has reportedly confirmed that it is hoping to allow gyms and leisure clubs to reopen in mid-July, so hopefully we won’t have to wait too much longer.