Gyms up an down the country were forced to close in March as the UK went into lockdown in order to prevent the spreading of coronavirus. The social distancing measures, introduced more than seven weeks ago, has meant people have been largely confined to their homes and have only been allowed out once a day to exercise.
However, on Monday, May 11, the Government published a 50-page dossier title Our Plan to Rebuild, which provides insight to what happens next.
The document describes the progress the UK has made to date in tackling the COVID-19 outbreak and sets out the plans for moving to the next phase of its response to the virus.
The strategy contains a roadmap to slowly easing existing measures, subject to successfully controlling the coronavirus and being able to monitor and react to its spread.
As the UK exits phase one of the Government’s response, where the Government has sought to contain, delay, research and mitigate, it will move through two further phases.
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When will gyms reopen?
The Government revealed in its document that outdoor spaces used for workout would be opened earlier than indoor gyms.
This is because the risk of transmission outdoors is significantly lower, although social distancing must still be obtained while using the space.
Reopening indoor public spaces such as leisure centres and gyms, along with venues that attract large crowds like sports stadia, “may only be possible significantly later, depending on the reduction in numbers of infections.”
So far, there has been no confirmation on when indoor gyms can reopen, but it will depend on the reduction in numbers of infections.
The guidance explained it is the Government’s “ambition” to start reopening other leisure facilities from July 4.
All gyms in Britain have been closed since Saturday, March 21 in order to prevent the spreading of coronavirus.
But although gyms remain closed, the Government did outline some easing of the measures when it comes to exercise.
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What is the Government’s new guidance on exercise?
In the Government’s document, it states people are now allowed to “exercise outside as many times each day as they wish.”
However, outdoor gyms and playgrounds remain closed to avoid spreading of the virus by touching surfaces.
The document reads: “People may exercise outside as many times each day as they wish. For example, this would include angling and tennis.
You will still not be able to use areas like playgrounds, outdoor gyms or ticketed outdoor leisure venues, where there is a higher risk of close contact and touching surfaces.
“You can only exercise with up to one person from outside your household – this means you should not play team sports, except with members of your own household.”
People may also drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance, so long as they respect social distancing guidance while they are there, because this does not involve contact with people outside your household.
When travelling to outdoor spaces, it is important that people respect the rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and do not travel to different parts of the UK where it would be inconsistent with guidance or regulations issued by the relevant devolved administration.
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