When will gyms reopen after coronavirus lockdown – and how safe will they be? – The Sun

GYMS across the country have been forced to power down their treadmills and rack their dumbbells amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

They were deemed non-essential by the Government – with Brits currently having to get a sweat on in the comfort of their own homes or outdoors alone instead.

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Just days ago Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that people are allowed to take unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise, as long as they obey the rules on social distancing, in his new list of lockdown rules.

And while plenty of gyms are adapting to offer virtual fitness classes, this left many people wondering when their gyms will reopen and if working out in these kind of environments will be safe.

Here, we take you through the impact of coronavirus on gyms and what you can do to work out at home in the meantime…

When will gyms in Britain reopen?

The Government's 50 page roadmap out of lockdown confirmed that we may have to wait quite some time until we can get back in the gym.

In particular, the document says it is the Government's "ambition" to start reopening other leisure facilities from July at the earliest but stresses that gyms and fitness studios may come later once the number of infections in the UK is significantly lower.

The guide, which was unveiled on Monday, reads: "It is likely that reopening indoor public spaces and leisure facilities (such as gyms and cinemas), premises whose core purpose is social interaction, venues that attract large crowds, and personal care establishments where close contact is inherent may only be fully possible significantly later depending on the reduction in numbers of infections."

Despite this, reopening outdoor spaces and sporting activities (subject to social distancing) such as golf and tennis are set to come earlier because the risk of transmission outdoors is significantly lower.

We remain completely in the dark as to when we may be able to reopen

Currently, people are now permitted to "exercise outside as many times each day as they wish" since coronavirus is less likely to spread outdoors.

Outdoor gyms and playgrounds remain closed due to the fact there is a higher risk of close contact and touching surfaces.

Chatty Dobson, owner of fitness studio FLEX Chelsea, told The Sun: "The UK fitness industry is worth in excess of £5 billion; the government understands and continues to highlight the importance of exercise, and yet we remain completely in the dark as to when we may be able to reopen.

"Focus seems drawn instead to pubs and beer gardens, which is undoubtedly a bigger revenue turner, but not necessarily as good for the nation’s health and immunity."

She added: "At the moment everything is very up in the air – we have no indication of how much of our attention should be directed to our reopening."

How safe will gyms be when they do reopen?

Many gym-goers may be reluctant to return to fitness studios and work out in close proximity with others and share equipment.

Gyms are likely to increase hygiene measures when they do reopen and increase the frequency of cleaning, especially for high use areas such as pin pads, door handles, lockers and equipment.

Other gyms may also try to focus on outdoor bootcamps, given transmission of the virus is lower outdoors.

On the other hand, some studios may also introduce more barriers between fitness machines to ensure people keep their distance – as seen in other countries.

The below photo from Pure Fitness shows how they have introduced partitions between treadmills amid the pandemic.

Of course, the two metre social distancing rule will be the highest priority for all gyms and it's likely equipment will be more spaced out.

Chatty from FLEX added: "We will need to reduce class sizes to maintain social distancing, and will be enforcing staggered class check-in time so as not to have a build-up of clients in reception or outside studios before classes.

"Our bathrooms will be open, but we’re waiting for updates as to whether or not it will be possible for clients to use the showers."

Come and get your runner’s high! Do you like the new look?#WeAreOpen #hkTogether

A post shared byPure Fitness (@purefitnessofficial) on

What other ways can you keep fit in lockdown?

There are countless fitness classes available online that you can help you get a sweat on and boost those endorphins in the very comfort of your own home.

Whether you’re a yoga newbie or spinning fanatic – there’s something for everyone out there to help you stay in shape amid the coronavirus lockdown.

London fitness studio Psycle offer between four and six Instagram live workouts every single day including abs blast sessions, revival yoga, HIIT, barre and meditation – and they're completely free.

Or you can give the nation’s favourite workout during lockdown, Joe Wicks’ daily P.E. lessons, a go.

While they’re theoretically aimed at children, the Body Coach’s 30-minute classes are straightforward, fun-packed and challenging enough for literally anyone to take part in.


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Barry's Bootcamp also offer calorie busting sessions on their Instagram page.

Each of their classes are a quick-fire combination of body weight training, cardio and intense anaerobic exercise that keeps the heart rate elevated, meaning you burn more calories.

Or if you fancy something less intense, give FLEX Chelsea's Yin Yoga a go which is available to book for £8 through their website – but for any NHS workers you go free.

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