Are gyms and nail bars about to get the green light to reopen?
- Credit: Archant
Anticipation is building among gym owners ahead of an “imminent” government announcement revealing when they can open their doors to customers again.
Speaking in parliament today, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said that he hoped to make an announcement regarding the opening date of gyms and leisure facilities imminently and that it has always been the intention of the government to reopen the sector “by mid-to-late July”.
A date is expected to be revealed in a statement this evening.
Many gyms have been preparing to reopen after being closed for months, recalling equipment they had been loaned out to members and installing infection control devices in their premises.
Live Fit Gym in Manningtree opened in the summer of 2019 and owner Jack Cardy is ready to welcome people back to his business as soon as the government allows.
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Mr Cardy said: “We believed we would be opening on July 4 so a lot of gym owners such as ourselves were ready to go then.
“Now we really are ready to go as soon as possible and I hope the government announce that this evening.
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“We have had existing members telling us that they are keen to get back and new potential members who want to work off some of the weight they might have gained in lockdown but I think there will be some people that stay away, we’ve seen that already with pubs and restaurants so I think it is to be expected.”
This news comes after the leisure sector was halted from reopening along with other businesses on July 4, which saw hairdressers and pubs start operating again. Social distancing measures were also relaxed.
Nail bars are also hoping they will be able to reopen.
Other leisure facilities like Colchester’s Rollerworld have expressed their exasperation at the delay, with co-owner Jason Khan left bemused by reasoning in Westminster to stop his roller rink opening.
“We aren’t just a leisure facility here, we are a health facility, we are keeping people active,” said Mr Khan.
“Leisure is a £100billion a year industry in the UK and we can help keep people healthy, but it’s hard to help when you aren’t allowed to open.”
He added: “This is a huge indoor space and we have an air circulation system here – it’s hard to believe we you can get on a plane full of people for hours and fly to another country but we can’t open.”