THE nation could be facing a collapse in its health and leisure infrastructure, the industry has warned, as pools and gyms were allowed to reopen their doors.
So what are the new rules for leisure centres as the UK attempts to stem a second wave of coronavirus?
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Gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres have reopened today, July 25, after four months of lockdown as Brits flocked to classes that started at midnight.
Indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities in England can reopen their doors under strict guidance to prevent an explosion of cases.
But, Community Leisure UK, the association representing charitable leisure and culture trusts across England, Scotland and Wales, estimates as many as 1,300 public leisure facilities could disappear by the end of the year, along with more than 58,000 jobs.
Mark Sesnan, managing director of Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), the UK’s largest operator of non-profit public leisure facilities, estimated it would take three to four years to recover from the crisis.
Water fountains will not be in use and will be replaced by hand sanitiser.
Venues must ensure they can enable customers, staff and volunteers to maintain social distancing before, during and after participation.
People will also be expected to wipe down machines and equipment after use, so it is safe for the next person’s workout.
Chain gyms are allowed to keep changing rooms open, but this is at each fitness centre’s disceretion.
Gym goers are advised to arrive ready in workout clothes, to avoid people gathering in changing rooms.
Measures set out in the government’s guidance include:
The best place to start looking for your nearest open leisure centre is to search for websites, or via social media for advice.