Boris Johnson has said gyms would be able to reopen 'in a couple of weeks' as he vowed to kickstart Britain's economy coming out of the coronavirus lockdown.
The prime minister said the government are trying to reopen fitness facilities 'as soon as we can do it in a Covid-secure way' in an interview with LBC.
Britons are preparing for the latest easing of lockdown on Saturday July 4, with pubs and restaurants set to welcome customers for the first time in three months.
Johnson told LBC: “The best way forward for the country is to get the economy moving again … We want to get every part of our industry, including theatres, that are so vital.”
On gyms, he added: “We are going to reopen gyms as soon as we can do it in a Covid-secure way and I think that the date for reopening gyms at the moment, if we can do it, is in just a couple of weeks’ time.”
The government has come under fire for its decision to open pubs and restaurants ahead of gyms and swimming pools.
A host of professional sportspeople and mental health campaigners voiced their concerns that indoor gyms, swimming pools spas, bowling alleys and water parks remained on the list of venues that must stay shut after July 4 following the PM’s announcement in the Commons on June 23.
In an open letter published in The Times last week, the owners of more than 100 gyms across the country said the decision to prioritise pubs, restaurants and hotels was based on “favourable publicity” rather than “the health of the nation”.
In the letter, the owners said: “It strikes us as a victory for vested interests, big donors and favourable publicity over common sense and the health of the nation. In this health crisis, physical and mental health should be at the fore.
“Where a gym can reopen safely — and many can do so far more easily than a hair salon, restaurant or pub — it must be allowed to do so.”
Paralympian Baroness Grey-Thompson also wrote to Boris Johnson urging him to personally intervene to get gyms and fitness centres open sooner.
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