The UK Government has published guidance for gyms, pools, and other leisure centres which will be allowed to reopen on the 25th July. Gyms have been closed for several months since the corona virus pandemic breakout and nationwide lockdown. Many welcome this reopening, so they can get back to working on their health and fitness.
You can find the guidance here. It is extensive, but important that facility owners and manages read through it and comply with it. Fitness professionals, personal trainers and coaches should also read it to see how the new guidelines can affect their training sessions and exercise classes. In fact, it’s probably a good idea for all gym goers to read through it as well to see what your gyms are doing or have to do to comply with the guidance to ensure the facility is Covid Secure as well as to familiarize yourself with the new rules which you will be asked to stick to while using these facilities.
It’s important because as much as the gyms can do to comply, members will play a significant part in ensuring compliance. It is essential that we as members do our part as well. It will be a combined effort to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.
For example, take note of Section 2.1.3, step 7:
“Avoiding use of shared objects e.g. towels, robes, balls, weights, rackets, balls, scoring equipment, sports clothing unless they can be cleaned or sanitised between users.”
At classes based gyms, this will be up to the gym owners and managers between classes and will be easier to coordinate. However, busy gyms which aren’t based around classes will have a harder time as people are constantly sharing or switching between equipment which will not enable staff to consistently clean and sanitize the equipment between uses. It will, therefore, be up to the members. It’s important that members use the supplies (which must be) provided by the gym to wipe down and sanitize the equipment straight after use.
If the virus continues to spread or these recreational facilities are seen to be super spreaders, the government can and will potentially request that they reclose, which most people don’t want to happen.
While centres will have to take extra actions and clean more frequently, everyone must do their part. It will be a collective effort to ensure that we can train safely again at gyms and keep them open – to get our health back up and get ‘match fit’ (as the government put it).