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Scotland's decision to keep gyms shut until September 'ridiculous' and shows lack of respect for the sector
POSTED 31 Jul 2020 . BY Tom Walker
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's 'indicative date' of 14 September for the reopening of gyms has angered the sector Credit: Shutterstock.com/Twocoms
Nicola Sturgeon seems hell-bent on keeping gyms closed regardless of the cost to users
– Duncan Bannatyne
Gyms, health clubs and swimming pools in Scotland have finally been given an "indicative" time for a possible re-opening – but the 14 September date has angered the sector.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon, who hasn't exactly endeared herself to the fitness industry by previously branding gyms as "hotbeds for transmission", made the announcement at her daily press conference on 30 July.

Gyms in England reopened last weekend, while gym facilities have also opened in Northern Ireland. It is believed that a date for Wales will be announced shortly – and that it will be set for mid- or late August.

The Scottish government's decision was branded "ridiculous" by a number of industry stakeholders – including entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne, founder of the Bannatyne Group.

A furious Bannatyne took to Twitter in the wake of Sturgeon's announcement.

"Nicola Sturgeon seems hell-bent on keeping gyms closed regardless of the cost to users," he tweeted.

"She won’t take the time to visit one of our health clubs to see how we keep members safe."

Bannatyne also took Sturgeon to task on her decision to allow pubs and bingo halls to open prior to gyms.

"Gyms have membership logging in systems that allow us to track members movements historically," he said.

"The system tells us which other members were in the club at the same time. This gives us the best track and trace system in the world – no pubs have this.

"We have an indicative date and I don’t trust her not to change that date for spurious reasons.

"Her advisors have not told her that a 30,000sq ft Health Club with the best air circulation in existence and temperature testing with a mandatory mask policy is less safe than a pub, bingo hall or bowling alley. Show me the evidence that I am wrong."

Industry body ukactive also condemned the decision – and said it would be in touch with the Scottish government to try and chart a "clear roadmap" for reopenings.

"We are hugely disappointed and frustrated by this announcement," said Huw Edwards, ukactive CEO.

"These facilities should be open now, and the sector should be afforded the respect given to other parts of society.

“Our sector deserves clarity but sadly this is lacking from the Government’s actions to date, posing the threat of permanent closure to hundreds of gyms and leisure facilities which provide a vital public health service to communities across Scotland.

"We have consistently invited the government and health officials to visit any of the hundreds of gym and leisure centre show sites across the country, and witness how facilities would operate with thorough social distancing measures and hygiene standards in place.

"This invite should be taken up, as the failure to visit facilities undermines the decision-making process within the Scottish Government.

“Conversations will continue with government to establish a clear roadmap to reopening.”
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Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
NEWS
Scotland's decision to keep gyms shut until September 'ridiculous' and shows lack of respect for the sector
POSTED 31 Jul 2020 . BY Tom Walker
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's 'indicative date' of 14 September for the reopening of gyms has angered the sector Credit: Shutterstock.com/Twocoms
Nicola Sturgeon seems hell-bent on keeping gyms closed regardless of the cost to users
– Duncan Bannatyne
Gyms, health clubs and swimming pools in Scotland have finally been given an "indicative" time for a possible re-opening – but the 14 September date has angered the sector.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon, who hasn't exactly endeared herself to the fitness industry by previously branding gyms as "hotbeds for transmission", made the announcement at her daily press conference on 30 July.

Gyms in England reopened last weekend, while gym facilities have also opened in Northern Ireland. It is believed that a date for Wales will be announced shortly – and that it will be set for mid- or late August.

The Scottish government's decision was branded "ridiculous" by a number of industry stakeholders – including entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne, founder of the Bannatyne Group.

A furious Bannatyne took to Twitter in the wake of Sturgeon's announcement.

"Nicola Sturgeon seems hell-bent on keeping gyms closed regardless of the cost to users," he tweeted.

"She won’t take the time to visit one of our health clubs to see how we keep members safe."

Bannatyne also took Sturgeon to task on her decision to allow pubs and bingo halls to open prior to gyms.

"Gyms have membership logging in systems that allow us to track members movements historically," he said.

"The system tells us which other members were in the club at the same time. This gives us the best track and trace system in the world – no pubs have this.

"We have an indicative date and I don’t trust her not to change that date for spurious reasons.

"Her advisors have not told her that a 30,000sq ft Health Club with the best air circulation in existence and temperature testing with a mandatory mask policy is less safe than a pub, bingo hall or bowling alley. Show me the evidence that I am wrong."

Industry body ukactive also condemned the decision – and said it would be in touch with the Scottish government to try and chart a "clear roadmap" for reopenings.

"We are hugely disappointed and frustrated by this announcement," said Huw Edwards, ukactive CEO.

"These facilities should be open now, and the sector should be afforded the respect given to other parts of society.

“Our sector deserves clarity but sadly this is lacking from the Government’s actions to date, posing the threat of permanent closure to hundreds of gyms and leisure facilities which provide a vital public health service to communities across Scotland.

"We have consistently invited the government and health officials to visit any of the hundreds of gym and leisure centre show sites across the country, and witness how facilities would operate with thorough social distancing measures and hygiene standards in place.

"This invite should be taken up, as the failure to visit facilities undermines the decision-making process within the Scottish Government.

“Conversations will continue with government to establish a clear roadmap to reopening.”
RELATED STORIES
ukactive: clarification needed on leisure reopening in Scotland


ukactive has questioned the Scottish government's handling of the lockdown, following reports of a delayed reopening of leisure facilities in the country.
Gyms, pools and leisure centres reopen – collective responsibility 'crucial' for safe operations


Health clubs, swimming pools, leisure centres and other indoor sports facilities have reopened to the public for the first time since March.
ukactive invites Nicola Sturgeon to visit a gym after 'hotspot for transmission' comment


Industry body ukactive has invited Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon to "visit gyms and leisure facilities", in order to see first-hand the measures the facilities are putting in place to protect customers and staff from COVID-19.
MORE NEWS
Members flock to gyms at midnight as the industry reopens
Gyms, health clubs, leisure centres and fitness studios in England are back in business today as the one-month lockdown ends.
COVID-19 impact report: gyms 'prioritised' in all three tiers due to fear of falling physical activity levels
The UK government has published its impact report for the three-tier COVID-19 alert system, which will be introduced in England tomorrow (2 December), when the one-month long national lockdown comes to an end.
Chris Whitty: physical activity must play key role in nation’s recovery
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Our flexible fully managed service efficiently collects Direct Debit payments using traditional pa [more...]
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A new zone is here for your club, for your members and for you. Find out more...
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01-02 Dec 2020

MIPIM Asia Summit

Grand Hyatt Hotel, Hong Kong SAR
01-03 Dec 2020

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+ More diary  
 


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Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
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