POST YOUR JOB ONLINE
Free ezine/digital edition sign up
Jobs   News   Features   Video    Products   Magazine      Advertise  
NEWS
Governments urged to classify gyms as 'essential services' to avoid lockdown closures, plus £500m sector aid package rumoured
POSTED 06 Oct 2020 . BY Tom Walker
ukactive says that unless physical activity facilities are treated as vital to public health, thousands of sites will be forced to shut permanently in the case of a second lockdown Credit: Shutterstock.com/Flamingo Images
The UK and Scottish governments should classify gyms, health clubs, swimming pools and leisure centres as essential services to enable them to stay open during any further lockdowns.

The classification would put these facilities in the same bracket as things such as supermarkets, chemists, banks and doctors surgeries.

The call has been made by industry body, ukactive, which says that unless physical activity facilities are treated as vital to public health, thousands of sites will be forced to shut permanently in the case of a second lockdown.

Earlier this month, a leaked document suggested that the government was considering a three-tier, "traffic light" lockdown system if the number of COVID-19 infections increase to constitute a second wave of the pandemic.

According to reports in the national press, the tiered approach would see physical activity, grassroots sport and leisure businesses being shut at the "red" (the highest) alert level.

Physical activity sector leaders fear that any further closures would be disastrous for operators – ukactive and CIMSPA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity) have previously stated that up to 48 per cent of public leisure facilities could close by the end of 2020, resulting in the loss of 300,000 jobs.

“As the government is faced with difficult decisions about restrictions to control the virus, fitness and leisure facilities must be recognised alongside essential retail as providing a vital service to the nation," said ukactive CEO Huw Edwards.

“The fitness and leisure sector has a crucial role to play in keeping people in good condition to fight COVID-19 through the autumn and winter.

“We have been sharing the latest data from the sector with governments, showing that the number of people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 who have visited facilities – before being confirmed positive – is extremely low," he said.

"This demonstrates the huge efforts being made to ensure people do not visit if they might have the virus.

“It also shows that the proactive protocols put in place by gyms and leisure facilities to prevent people with the virus from visiting them are working, alongside the highest standards of cleanliness, social distancing and safety to reduce the risk of transmission.

“We must remain vigilant and continue to monitor the situation closely, so that the government and local authorities are armed with the best possible evidence to inform decisions about the sector.”

Even if centres can remain open, however, many trust-managed facilities are still in need of financial support which they cannot demand, as a result of not being a statutory service.

In July, Edwards told the DCMS Select Committee that the physical activity sector needs a £800m bailout in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown – and that without urgent intervention, up to 50 per cent of the UK's leisure centres could close by the end of the year.

According to the Guardian, however, the government has listened to those concerns and is considering a £500m package to save grassroots facilities from closure, as well as drawing up plans for an urgent rescue package for as many as eight sports, after being warned numerous clubs face financial ruin because of the lack of gate receipts.
RELATED STORIES
Public sector leisure forecasting 300,000 losses in the next three months without government intervention


Up to 48 per cent of public leisure facilities could close by the end of 2020, resulting in the loss of 300,000 jobs, according to the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) and ukactive.
Activity sector unites to push back over Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan


Chancellor Rishi Sunak's proposals to support the economy through the next six months of the pandemic "are not enough" to secure the future of the physical activity sector.
Letter to Boris: give us a central role in COVID-19 recovery, says activity sector


More than 100 sport and physical activity bodies have sent a letter to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, urging him to give the sector a central role in the nation’s COVID-19 recovery plans.
MORE NEWS
Basic-Fit trading update shows operator planning 348 more clubs by end of 2022
Europe's largest gym chain, Basic-Fit, has published its trading update for the first nine months of 2020, showing a strong cash position and increases in membership and clubs numbers.
The Refinery's PTs are now delivering classes as avatars through new augmented reality system
Boutique operator, The Refinery E9, has launched a personal trainer (PT) service with a twist, by offering customers the opportunity to take part in exercise sessions led by an avatar.
Lockdown's full impact on participation revealed by Sport England's new Active Lives results
Gains made getting people more physically active over the last few years were all but 'cancelled out' during the first seven weeks of lockdown, according to Sport England.
Cash boost for Northern Ireland in landmark VAT case
Mid Ulster District Council (MUDC) in Northern Ireland has won a landmark VAT case, which could see councils in the country receive a multi-million pound payday.
+ More news   
LATEST JOBS
Self Employed Personal Trainer - East
Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Job location: Nationwide
Personal trainers
Everyone Active
Salary: Unlimited earning potential
Job location: Aqua Vale Swimming & Fitness Centre, Aylesbury , United Kingdom
Personal trainers
Everyone Active
Salary: Unlimited earning potential
Job location: Swan Pool & Leisure Centre, Buckingham , United Kingdom
Personal trainers
Everyone Active
Salary: Unlimited earning potential
Job location: Wickford Swim and Sports Centre, Wickford , United Kingdom
Personal trainers
Everyone Active
Salary: Unlimited earning potential
Job location: Eversley Leisure Centre , United Kingdom
Personal trainers
Everyone Active
Salary: Unlimited earning potential
Job location: Basildon Sporting Village , United Kingdom
+ More jobs  

FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Red Light Rising teams up with ITRM Clinic to supply red light therapy for injured athletes
Red light therapy equipment supplier, Red Light Rising, has partnered with Aidan Robinson of ITRM Clinic in the UK [more...]

Annual Fitness & Active Brands Summit offering invaluable insight from over 40 leading industry speakers
Join the second Annual Fitness & Active Brands Summit and walk away with the expertise you need to transform your business model and maximise the US$59.23bn virtual fitness market opportunity. [more...]
COMPANY PROFILES
MiE FitQuest

FitQuest brings full bio-mechanical lab technology to the fitness facility. [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
 
+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

FreeMotion Fitness - Freemotion FUSION Team Training
The High-Intensity Cardio-Strength Training. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

03-06 Nov 2020

Spa and Wellness International Congress

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Minsk, Belarus
03-06 Nov 2020

Piscina & Wellness Forum

Online,
+ More diary  
 
ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
 
HCM
LEISURE OPPORTUNITIES
HEALTH CLUB HANDBOOK
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

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

©Cybertrek 2020
Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
NEWS
Governments urged to classify gyms as 'essential services' to avoid lockdown closures, plus £500m sector aid package rumoured
POSTED 06 Oct 2020 . BY Tom Walker
ukactive says that unless physical activity facilities are treated as vital to public health, thousands of sites will be forced to shut permanently in the case of a second lockdown Credit: Shutterstock.com/Flamingo Images
The UK and Scottish governments should classify gyms, health clubs, swimming pools and leisure centres as essential services to enable them to stay open during any further lockdowns.

The classification would put these facilities in the same bracket as things such as supermarkets, chemists, banks and doctors surgeries.

The call has been made by industry body, ukactive, which says that unless physical activity facilities are treated as vital to public health, thousands of sites will be forced to shut permanently in the case of a second lockdown.

Earlier this month, a leaked document suggested that the government was considering a three-tier, "traffic light" lockdown system if the number of COVID-19 infections increase to constitute a second wave of the pandemic.

According to reports in the national press, the tiered approach would see physical activity, grassroots sport and leisure businesses being shut at the "red" (the highest) alert level.

Physical activity sector leaders fear that any further closures would be disastrous for operators – ukactive and CIMSPA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity) have previously stated that up to 48 per cent of public leisure facilities could close by the end of 2020, resulting in the loss of 300,000 jobs.

“As the government is faced with difficult decisions about restrictions to control the virus, fitness and leisure facilities must be recognised alongside essential retail as providing a vital service to the nation," said ukactive CEO Huw Edwards.

“The fitness and leisure sector has a crucial role to play in keeping people in good condition to fight COVID-19 through the autumn and winter.

“We have been sharing the latest data from the sector with governments, showing that the number of people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 who have visited facilities – before being confirmed positive – is extremely low," he said.

"This demonstrates the huge efforts being made to ensure people do not visit if they might have the virus.

“It also shows that the proactive protocols put in place by gyms and leisure facilities to prevent people with the virus from visiting them are working, alongside the highest standards of cleanliness, social distancing and safety to reduce the risk of transmission.

“We must remain vigilant and continue to monitor the situation closely, so that the government and local authorities are armed with the best possible evidence to inform decisions about the sector.”

Even if centres can remain open, however, many trust-managed facilities are still in need of financial support which they cannot demand, as a result of not being a statutory service.

In July, Edwards told the DCMS Select Committee that the physical activity sector needs a £800m bailout in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown – and that without urgent intervention, up to 50 per cent of the UK's leisure centres could close by the end of the year.

According to the Guardian, however, the government has listened to those concerns and is considering a £500m package to save grassroots facilities from closure, as well as drawing up plans for an urgent rescue package for as many as eight sports, after being warned numerous clubs face financial ruin because of the lack of gate receipts.
RELATED STORIES
Public sector leisure forecasting 300,000 losses in the next three months without government intervention


Up to 48 per cent of public leisure facilities could close by the end of 2020, resulting in the loss of 300,000 jobs, according to the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) and ukactive.
Activity sector unites to push back over Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan


Chancellor Rishi Sunak's proposals to support the economy through the next six months of the pandemic "are not enough" to secure the future of the physical activity sector.
Letter to Boris: give us a central role in COVID-19 recovery, says activity sector


More than 100 sport and physical activity bodies have sent a letter to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, urging him to give the sector a central role in the nation’s COVID-19 recovery plans.
MORE NEWS
Basic-Fit trading update shows operator planning 348 more clubs by end of 2022
Europe's largest gym chain, Basic-Fit, has published its trading update for the first nine months of 2020, showing a strong cash position and increases in membership and clubs numbers.
The Refinery harnesses augmented reality to launch avatar-based PT service
Boutique operator, The Refinery E9, has launched a personal trainer (PT) service with a twist, by offering customers the opportunity to take part in exercise sessions led by an avatar.
Lockdown's full impact on participation revealed by Sport England's new Active Lives results
Gains made getting people more physically active over the last few years were all but 'cancelled out' during the first seven weeks of lockdown, according to Sport England.
Cash boost for Northern Ireland in landmark VAT case
Mid Ulster District Council (MUDC) in Northern Ireland has won a landmark VAT case, which could see councils in the country receive a multi-million pound payday.
UK leisure centres can bid for £100m of government support
The UK government has pledged to invest £100m in supporting public leisure centres this winter, as part of a £1bn additional support package for local councils.
Gyms in Liverpool win fight to reopen after tense standoff
Gyms in Liverpool have been given the go-ahead to reopen, following a dramatic week of negotiations.
+ More news   
 
FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Red Light Rising teams up with ITRM Clinic to supply red light therapy for injured athletes
Red light therapy equipment supplier, Red Light Rising, has partnered with Aidan Robinson of ITRM Clinic in the UK [more...]

Annual Fitness & Active Brands Summit offering invaluable insight from over 40 leading industry speakers
Join the second Annual Fitness & Active Brands Summit and walk away with the expertise you need to transform your business model and maximise the US$59.23bn virtual fitness market opportunity. [more...]
COMPANY PROFILES
MiE FitQuest

FitQuest brings full bio-mechanical lab technology to the fitness facility. [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

FreeMotion Fitness - Freemotion FUSION Team Training
The High-Intensity Cardio-Strength Training. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

03-06 Nov 2020

Spa and Wellness International Congress

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Minsk, Belarus
03-06 Nov 2020

Piscina & Wellness Forum

Online,
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

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

©Cybertrek 2020

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS