Here’s when gyms could reopen in the UK as lockdown measures relaxed

Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 2:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 2:00 pm
With the UK still under lockdown, many are wondering when shops, hairdressers, pubs and gyms could begin to reopen again, after restrictions were put in place on 23 March (Photo: Shutterstock)

Lockdown measures are slowly relaxing throughout the UK, with various sectors reopening their doors to the public.

But when are gyms set to reopen? Here’s what you need to know.

When could gyms reopen?

Indoor gyms and sports facilities in England will be able to reopen their doors from Saturday 25 July, but new rules and safety measures will be in place to keep customers and staff safe.

Health club chain, PureGym, previously said it was working out how its facilities could be laid out to allow for social distancing, alongside capping member numbers.

PureGym CEO Humphrey Cobbold, previously told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that the chain was working to upgrade hygiene and sanitation procedures in order to "provide a safe environment for the future."

In Scotland, the opening date of gyms is not yet confirmed.

In Nicola Sturgeon's speech discussing the move into phase three, issued on 9 July, the First Minister said: “There are other activities which are included in the phase 3 of the route map that we are not yet able to attach a firm and specific date to”.

This “includes the reopening of indoor gyms,” Ms Sturgeon adds.

The First Minister explains that indoor gyms will not reopen before 31 July.

Glasgow Life, who run the city’s leisure and culture facilities, recently announced the planned return of some of their facilities from 17 August, including the use of the gym and fitness suites at Scotstoun Sports Campus. Pools remain closed.

However, Glasgow Life said that their “proposed dates for the reopening of sports venues and facilities remain indicative and subject to change”.

Outdoor sports courts reopened in Scotland in phase 2, alongside the resumption of professional sport.

Gyms in Northern Ireland have now reopened, with no date yet confirmed for the reopening of gyms in Wales.

The PureGym website states, “Based on government guidance, our gyms in Northern Ireland have reopened and gyms in England will reopen on 27th July. We do not yet have dates for reopening of Scottish and Welsh gyms."

What might be different when gyms do open?

To keep the numbers down in changing rooms, classes in some gyms are likely to be shortened and breaks between them lengthened. The number of people in a class may also be reduced, and there could also be markings on the floor to ensure social distancing is maintained.

Gym members could also be asked to frequently wash their hands during visits.

Guidance for the reopening of gyms and sports facilities in England has now been published, including social distancing measures and cleaning advice.

New measures include limiting the number of people using a facility at one time, reducing class sizes and spacing out equipment. People will also be encouraged to shower and change at home where possible, but changing rooms will be open.

Social distancing should also be maintained wherever possible.

Face coverings will not be mandatory in gyms in England.