Are gyms closing in lockdown? What Covid restrictions mean for fitness centres, and when they could open again

A second national lockdown will come into force as of Thursday 5 November to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the latest measures alongside chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty during a press conference at Downing Street on Saturday.

As with the first lockdown, everyone in England will be banned from leaving their home except for a list of specific circumstances including going to school, commuting to work if you cannot work at home, seeking medical care or buying essential supplies.

But will gyms close again? Here’s what the second lockdown means for fitness centres.

Are gyms closing again?

Gyms and fitness centres were one of the last businesses to reopen at the end of July, following the first lockdown in spring.

Sadly, under the latest lockdown rules, they are set to close again.

Gyms were among the last businesses to reopen following the first lockdown in spring (Photo: David Davies/PA)

Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, including bowling alleys, swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, as well as dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks will also have to shut their doors.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential retail will close and people will be told to stay at home unless they have a specific reason to leave.

How long are they going to stay closed for?

Ms Johnson said will last from Thursday 5 November until 2 December.

This means that gyms and all other sports facilities will remain closed for at least four weeks.

Although Cabinet minister Michael Gove on Sunday added that England’s national lockdown could last longer than four weeks, if the R rate is not successfully brought below 1.0 by the end of the proposed lockdown period.

Why are gyms closing?

The closures of gyms are part of the second lockdown measures to halt the spread of Covid-19 cases as fresh data showed the second wave could be deadlier than the first.

Mr Johnson performed the U-turn after Government scientists presented data which showed that without drastic action, the NHS was on track to run out of capacity by the first week of December – even if all elective procedures are cancelled and Nightingale hospitals are reactivated.

Individuals will still be allowed to exercise outdoors, either on their own, with one person from another household or with their support bubble (Photo: Coralie Datta/Historic England/PA)

It is understood the Prime Minister changed his mind on the merits of going back into lockdown when modellers from the Spi-M subcommittee of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies presented him with figures showing that NHS capacity will be exhausted on 4 December if hospitalisations continue on their current trajectory.

A further 162 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Sunday, while there were 23,254 new lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus, bringing

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Quebec fitness centres back off threat to reopen, but province still ready to crack down

Quebec deputy premier Geneviève Guilbault says the province will go ahead with a new decree to allow fines for fitness centres that reopen their facilities, even though a group of owners has backed off its threat to defy red zone regulations.

With the province entering a new four-week partial lockdown, a coalition of fitness centre owners had threatened to reopen their businesses even if the government didn’t allow them to, citing the need to preserve the physical and mental health of their members.

“We will be ready, if ever they were to change their minds,” said Guilbault, after thanking the coalition for its decision this morning while speaking to reporters. “If we have to be severe with people who go to the gym when it is not allowed, we will be ready to do so.” 

Customers who go into the exercise facilities would also be subject to fines, once the province adopts the decree.

Instead of reopening, the coalition encouraged members to gather in front of their respective fitness centres to protest the province’s restrictions.

“This protest — peaceful and in accordance with public health guidelines — will be the first step for a movement we hope will grow to make the Legault government realize it can’t govern just for COVID,” the group said in a written statement.

Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada

Most Quebecers respect rules, Guilbault says

Guilbault also slammed provincial opposition parties — most notably the Liberal Party — for statements she deemed “irresponsible” in regard to Quebecers’ willingness to continue following public health rules.

Opposition parties criticized the CAQ government on Tuesday, saying Quebecers will not blindly follow guidelines unless the province provides more details behind the reasoning for prolonging the red zone restrictions.

Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade said “social peace” was at risk if the government failed to be more transparent.

Guilbault shot down Anglade’s comments, referencing recent survey results from Quebec’s public health research institute, obtained by Le Devoir, that show that more than 75 per cent of Quebecers respect public health guidelines.

“We often play political games, it’s normal,” said Guilbault. “But I think that in the context we’re living in, a public health emergency, we all have to behave responsibly.”

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Maharashtra Allows Gyms, Fitness Centres To Reopen From October 25 On Dussehra

Activities like steam bath, sauna, Zumba and Yoga will remain shut at these centres. (Representational)

Mumbai:

The Maharashtra government has given permission to gymnasiums and fitness centres to reopen from October 25, on the occasion of Hindu festival Dussehra, with certain restrictions amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray interacted with representatives of various gyms and fitness centers in the state today to set a standard operating procedure for their services. Preventive measures for COVID-19 were discussed during the virtual meeting.

Activities like steam bath, sauna, Zumba and Yoga, however, will continue to remain shut at these centres.

Gymnasiums and fitness centres are for the welfare of citizens, so care should be taken to ensure that there is no virus spread, the chief minister said.

Mr Thackeray said the state government was going slow on lifting COVID-19 restrictions because there should be no complacency.

Safety measures such as disinfecting premises every hour, physical distancing, sanitisation and use of masks would be mandatory, the chief minister said, adding that health checks of trainers and employees should be done regularly.

The state government had earlier allowed outdoor centres for exercise and gymnastics to function from August 5, following social-distancing and hygiene protocols.

The Centre in July had issued a notice allowing all gymnasiums and yoga institutes in the country to reopen from August 5 but several states and cities had kept them shut due to rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Gym owners in the state have been asking the government for several weeks to approve the opening of their centres after being financially hit due to the lockdown.

Maharashtra recorded 10,259 new COVID-19 cases today which took the state’s caseload to 15,86,321. The death count rose to 41,965 as 250 patients died today, according to news agency PTI.

India’s COVID-19 caseload went past 74 lakh today, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease crossed 65 lakh pushing the recovery rate to 87.78 per cent, according to data updated by the Union Health Ministry.

(With inputs from PTI)

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