Not-for-profit health body ukactive has issued guidelines for fitness operators in the UK amid the evolving COVID-19 crisis.
In a statement, CEO Huw Edwards commented: “The fitness and leisure sector remains open until directed otherwise by Government, and will continue to support the mental and physical health of the nation during this difficult time as our nation adapts to life with Coronavirus.
“Following the Government’s announcement on Monday, gyms and leisure facilities across the UK are adapting quickly to increase physical distancing between customers to at least two metres and spacing equipment apart.
“They are also introducing limits on the number of people using the facility, such as reducing capacity by 50% in group exercise classes, so that people can stay active without exposing themselves to unnecessary contact.
And, “ukactive’s member organisations have taken extra measures to ensure all surfaces are clean, and we are in constant dialogue with Public Health England (PHE) to ensure they remain safe and within the guidelines set by the Chief Medical Officer.”
As we outlined yesterday, further to this, many boutique fitness operators in the UK have now made the tough decision to close temporarily, in an attempt to fight the spread of the virus.
And as the situation rapidly evolves, ukactive says it is aware of the financial support its members will require to continue operating –– a challenge it says it is discussing with its partners at Sport England and with the Government.
In a bid to support the industry, under the Government and Public Health England’s current recommendations, it has also published a document entitled: Consolidated Gym and Fitness Industry Operator Guidance for the COVID-19.
However, Edwards acknowledged that as soon as Government and Public Health England recommendations change, ukactive and its members will respond swiftly to update guidance and communicate this to the public.
“The physical activity sector is one of the most innovative sectors in the UK,” commented ukactive Chair Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, in a separate statement.
“And over the coming weeks, it will adapt and respond in an agile way that ensures we continue to put peoples’ health first, and keep them active.”