Indoor gyms reopen after four month closure
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Fitness enthusiasts have flocked back to gyms after they opened for the time in four months following this year’s Covid-19 lockdown.
Gym-goers across the region have been able to work out for the first time since March after new government regulations allowed gyms to reopen.
In most outlets, exercise equipment has been spaced apart to ensure social distancing, while increased cleaning regimes are in place and stricter rules around hygiene.
Many members, for example, are encouraged to get changed at home to minimise use of changing rooms, while government guidelines say people must book slots to limit the number of members inside at any one time.
Jack Cardy, owner of Live Fit in Manningtree, said his gym was fully booked after reopening on Saturday.
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He said: “It been going brilliantly. We’ve had loads of members in, all the slots are booked – it’s fantastic.
“We’ve had between five or 10 new sign-ups today. So we’ve got loads of new faces but all the old faces are still coming back, which is good.
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“People have to book a one-hour slot in the evenings and weekends.
“That allows half an hour in between, which lets our staff clean everything.
“I’d say we’re at about half of our new capacity, which is good throughout the weekend. I think it’ll pick up during the week.
“And I think we’ll have more daytime customers, because you don’t have to book during the say.”
Leo Martin, director of Iron Mighty gym in Saxmundham, also said people had been keen to get back.
He said: “All our regulars have just been absolutely desperate to get back in the gym.
“Everyone’s piled in this morning – it’s been good.
“Lockdown has obviously hit everyone quite hard. People started off with the best intentions at the start but a lot of people’s fitness has dropped off over the past couple of months. “But it’s just made people more eager to get back in the gym and get back in shape.
“Some of the more dedicated among us have set up home gyms.
“When lockdown hit us we actually loaned out a lot of our kit – we gave away all the weights and dumbbells – people used those during lockdown but now we’re back open they’ve brought it back.”
Kelly Townley has opened her new boutique-style gym at Clopton Park, which allows people to book the entire gym to themselves so they can work out on their own.
She said it was the “perfect time” to start her new business, despite the Covid-19 restrictions in place.
“Now everyone is going back to work, to my mind this is a fresh start,” she said. “People are looking at a different way of life.”