“It is great news that gyms and leisure centres can reopen, and many people will be hugely excited about being able to safely visit them again."
Responding the announcement that gyms and leisure centres will be able to reopen from July 25, Cllr Gerald Vernon Jackson, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said:
“It is great news that gyms and leisure centres can reopen, and many people will be hugely excited about being able to safely visit them again. Being active is crucial to the fight against obesity, inactivity and poor mental health, and we know that the lockdown has increased physical inactivity and unhealthy eating habits for some families.
“Many leisure providers are in serious financial jeopardy as a result of months of lockdown and the expensive cost of maintaining closed facilities, particularly those with swimming pools. Although able to access the Job Retention Scheme they have had very little other financial support and a funding package is needed to stabilise them.
“Having had to furlough staff and faced with uncertainty about when they might be able to reopen, providers have been unable to prepare. This means it may take a bit of time to reopen some facilities in line with government guidance and to ensure the right measures are in place to maintain social distancing and safe use.
“They will no doubt move as fast as they can to reopen. Residents should keep an eye on council websites and social media channels to find out when their local leisure facilities are open.”