Victory for fitness fans as gyms could reopen from lockdown as early as April 12 according to Boris Johnson's roadmap – but exercise classes won't resume until May 17
- Indoor leisure centers in England could reopen earlier than expected on April 12th
- The announcement is a huge win for gyms who feared a much longer shutdown
- It comes hours after sports directors asked Boris Johnson to keep them reopened by May
- All gyms in England have been closed since the third national lock was introduced
Gym bosses received a big boost today after Boris Johnson announced they could reopen England's third national ban earlier than expected on April 12.
Fitness fans are expected to be able to return to the recreational facilities in seven weeks. This is a big win for gyms who feared a much longer shutdown.
However, group practice classes in recreational centers are not expected to resume until May 17, when indoor gathering restrictions are lifted.
An employee was cleaning fitness equipment at a David Lloyd Health Club in Leicester last vember
The prime minister's announcement comes just hours after bosses asked him to reopen it until May, when a boss said his company was burning £ 500,000 a day.
All gyms across England have been closed since the third national lock was in place. Gyms were also closed during the first and second national lockdowns.
Further closings have been recorded in fitness centers in areas of the country that fell under tighter tier system rules for the industry for a stricter 12 months last year.
Neil Randall, CEO of Anytime Fitness UK, said today the announcement is a "light at the end of the tunnel".
He said, "Today's announcement of the government's roadmap for reopening is a positive step and we recognize that recreation and fitness facilities are the next priority after education and outdoor sports.
& # 39; However, we urge the Chancellor of the Exchequer to provide a comprehensive aid package to our sector that has been closed over eight months in the past twelve months.
& # 39; Over 75 million visits between July 2020 and January 2021 resulted in a COVID-19 prevalence rate of 1.7 cases per 100,000 visits. This is especially impressive when you consider the emergence of the more transmissible strain of the virus towards the end of last year.
"At a time when, with the continued success of the vaccination program, we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we have a duty to do our part to support the physical and mental wellbeing of the UK."
"However, given the remaining financial support, many institutions will not be able to do this if the arrears increase."
Humphrey Cobbold, CEO of PureGym, said earlier today that the company had survived two-thirds of a year with no income due to restrictions.
He shared how the firm, which has 275 gyms in the UK and is one of the largest operators in the country, "burned out" £ 120 million in a "brutally tough" year.
Last week, the heads of three fitness chains – The Gym Group, David Lloyd and PureGym – urged the government to give priority to reopening fitness facilities.
Company executives previously warned that the country's physical and mental health could deteriorate without a scheduled reopening.
Active UK data released to the government last week said websites pose "low risk" for the spread of Covid-19 and should be prioritized.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement (pictured today at 10 Downing Street) is a major boost for gyms which, like many other industries, have suffered from a hot year
It found that of the 75 million visits to gyms and leisure centers between the facilities reopening last July and the third national lockdown early last month, only 1,277 cases of Covid-19 were reported.
By comparison, 2.3 million Covid-19 cases were reported nationwide over the same period, with gym users recording an overall rate of 1.7 cases per 100,000 visits.
The fall rate rose from 0.1 per 100,000 visits for the week beginning July 27 to a high of 4.1 in late October.
This had almost halved again in the last week of December, according to data from UK Active.