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Parliamentary debate will happen on Monday 23 November, as UK gyms are threatened with January lockdown
POSTED 19 Nov 2020 . BY Tom Walker
ukactive is encouraging its members to write a letter to MPs, asking them to support the motion to keep gyms and leisure centres open Credit: Shutterstock.com/Dusan Petkovic
UK Parliament will debate COVID-19 restrictions on gyms and leisure centres on Monday 23 November, it has been confirmed.

The session, which takes place at 4.30pm GMT, can only be attended by 15 MPs due to social distancing measures.

The debate comes as off-the-record briefings from government indicate that gyms may be hit with a new third lockdown in January to "pay back" a loosening of restrictions over the Christmas period.

Industry leaders say closing gyms in January – a critical month for membership sales – would 'devastate' the sector and any such move could see operators finally being forced to take legal action against the government.

Up to this point, the sector has been committed to working in partnership with government departments, but if operators are faced with a third lockdown in January, in spite of having proven they are COVID-secure, HCM understands this may be the tipping point that would drive them to go legal.

Industry body, ukactive, is encouraging all its members to write a letter to their local MPs, asking for them to support the debate on Monday to avert a third lockdown and to back any motions made to keep gyms and leisure centres open as an essential service.

MPs have until 1pm on Friday 20 November to register to attend the debate. It is hoped that as many MPs as possible – out of the total of 15 – will be sympathetic to the motion, which is the result of a successful Parliamentary petition which now has 604,000 signatures. It is one of 12 Parliamentary petitions running, all set up by members of the public, calling for gyms to remain open, with this being the one with the most votes.

To support efforts to ensure gyms stay open, HCM is publishing the letter sent out by ukactive to its members, below.

If you have not already sent this letter to your MP, now is the time to do so. Please act now.

To check who your MP is – and to find out all the necessary details you need to get in touch with their office – click here.

Good morning,

I am a constituent and writing to call for your support in the upcoming Westminster Hall Debate on 23rd November on the petition to keep gyms and leisure centres open during any further restrictions.

The physical activity sector has a hugely important role in the physical and mental wellbeing of your constituents as well as being crucial to the country’s recovery from Covid-19.

The Government has consistently stressed the importance of exercise throughout this pandemic, maintaining it as an essential reason to leave the house in the most severe lockdown, and continuing to stress its importance in this second phase. However, during the winter months, outdoor activity becomes less appealing and more dangerous, making it imperative there is a safe space to exercise.

Sport England’s Active Lives Survey reported three million more inactive individuals in the first lockdown period compared to the same period in 2019. This number is likely to be even greater during the winter, with a devastating impact on health and wellbeing, if our facility is not able to reopen.

Gyms and leisure facilities have proven since reopening they are safe, with the hygiene, ventilation, and social distancing measures within facilities, drawn up in conjunction with the Government, have ensured this low prevalence rate. The Government has so far provided no evidence to justify the closure of these facilities.

With the prospect of continued restrictions on a national and local level for the foreseeable future, it is vital the physical activity sector is recognised as safe and essential and is able to remain open.

I would urge you to ensure your constituents’ health and wellbeing are protected by attending Monday’s debate.

Best wishes

RELATED STORIES
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This year's UK government Spending Review, announced in Parliament by chancellor Rishi Sunak on 25 November, offers the physical activity sector opportunities to "transform communities", according to industry body, ukactive.
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NEWS
Parliamentary debate will happen on Monday 23 November, as UK gyms are threatened with January lockdown
POSTED 19 Nov 2020 . BY Tom Walker
ukactive is encouraging its members to write a letter to MPs, asking them to support the motion to keep gyms and leisure centres open Credit: Shutterstock.com/Dusan Petkovic
UK Parliament will debate COVID-19 restrictions on gyms and leisure centres on Monday 23 November, it has been confirmed.

The session, which takes place at 4.30pm GMT, can only be attended by 15 MPs due to social distancing measures.

The debate comes as off-the-record briefings from government indicate that gyms may be hit with a new third lockdown in January to "pay back" a loosening of restrictions over the Christmas period.

Industry leaders say closing gyms in January – a critical month for membership sales – would 'devastate' the sector and any such move could see operators finally being forced to take legal action against the government.

Up to this point, the sector has been committed to working in partnership with government departments, but if operators are faced with a third lockdown in January, in spite of having proven they are COVID-secure, HCM understands this may be the tipping point that would drive them to go legal.

Industry body, ukactive, is encouraging all its members to write a letter to their local MPs, asking for them to support the debate on Monday to avert a third lockdown and to back any motions made to keep gyms and leisure centres open as an essential service.

MPs have until 1pm on Friday 20 November to register to attend the debate. It is hoped that as many MPs as possible – out of the total of 15 – will be sympathetic to the motion, which is the result of a successful Parliamentary petition which now has 604,000 signatures. It is one of 12 Parliamentary petitions running, all set up by members of the public, calling for gyms to remain open, with this being the one with the most votes.

To support efforts to ensure gyms stay open, HCM is publishing the letter sent out by ukactive to its members, below.

If you have not already sent this letter to your MP, now is the time to do so. Please act now.

To check who your MP is – and to find out all the necessary details you need to get in touch with their office – click here.

Good morning,

I am a constituent and writing to call for your support in the upcoming Westminster Hall Debate on 23rd November on the petition to keep gyms and leisure centres open during any further restrictions.

The physical activity sector has a hugely important role in the physical and mental wellbeing of your constituents as well as being crucial to the country’s recovery from Covid-19.

The Government has consistently stressed the importance of exercise throughout this pandemic, maintaining it as an essential reason to leave the house in the most severe lockdown, and continuing to stress its importance in this second phase. However, during the winter months, outdoor activity becomes less appealing and more dangerous, making it imperative there is a safe space to exercise.

Sport England’s Active Lives Survey reported three million more inactive individuals in the first lockdown period compared to the same period in 2019. This number is likely to be even greater during the winter, with a devastating impact on health and wellbeing, if our facility is not able to reopen.

Gyms and leisure facilities have proven since reopening they are safe, with the hygiene, ventilation, and social distancing measures within facilities, drawn up in conjunction with the Government, have ensured this low prevalence rate. The Government has so far provided no evidence to justify the closure of these facilities.

With the prospect of continued restrictions on a national and local level for the foreseeable future, it is vital the physical activity sector is recognised as safe and essential and is able to remain open.

I would urge you to ensure your constituents’ health and wellbeing are protected by attending Monday’s debate.

Best wishes

RELATED STORIES
Blame obesity for high level of COVID deaths, says former chief medical officer


Thousands of COVID-related deaths could be prevented if successive governments had tackled the country's obesity crisis in time, according to Dame Sally Davies.
Doctors fight to keep gyms open so they can exercise


The iconic Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago is among the city's fitness facilities which have been able to keep their doors open to members – despite lockdown-style restrictions – after convincing the city's mayor that gyms are safe.
Closing gyms and leisure centres, means two-thirds of cancer prehab and rehab services have been out of action


The UK's physical activity sector is currently lobbying to have gyms and leisure centres classed as essential services, in order for them to be able to operate during COVID-19 lockdowns.
MORE NEWS
'Rebel' uk gym owner Nick Whitcombe becoming global advocate for fitness
Nick Whitcombe, the independent gym owner who refused to shut his gym during the October tier 3 restrictions, is becoming a fitness industry campaigner of international renown.
The fitness industry can drive the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic, says Huw Edwards
This year's UK government Spending Review, announced in Parliament by chancellor Rishi Sunak on 25 November, offers the physical activity sector opportunities to "transform communities", according to industry body, ukactive.
100k people to get free gym sessions as fitness industry strengthens its position as an essential service
Up to 100k people will benefit from the free gym and physical activity sessions, thanks to a partnership between ukactive, NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I), Sport England and the National Academy for Social Prescribing.
UK fitness sector facing fight to keep group exercise open in tier 3 areas
To the relief of the sector, the UK government confirmed yesterday (23 November) that gyms, health clubs and leisure centres will be allowed to open under all three tiers of the new COVID-19 alert system when lockdown ends on 2 December.
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Funxtion collaborates with global experts on white paper exploring digital in the future of fitness
In collaboration with ukactive, FunXtion has driven a global discussion with some of the world’s leading fitness operators and influencers, exploring how digitalisation will influence the delivery of fitness services and products moving forwards. [more...]

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Matrix strives to offer equipment that will captivate your members, is easy to maintain and delive [more...]
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+ More catalogues  

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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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+ More directory  
DIARY

 

27-28 Nov 2020

National Fitness Awards 2020

Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
01-02 Dec 2020

MIPIM Asia Summit

Grand Hyatt Hotel, Hong Kong SAR
+ 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
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PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS