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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

Humphrey Cobbold says Pingdemic is a huge challenge for the sector as up to a quarter of staff are isolating

The Pingdemic is threatening to create staff shortages across health clubs and fitness studios in England and Wales
Humphrey Cobbold, chief executive of PureGym, said the huge increase in people being alerted and told to self-isolate is causing unwanted disruption
In some areas, up to 25 per cent of PureGym staff have had to remain off work after being "pinged"
According to government figures, more than 600,000 people were pinged between 8 - 15 July

The Pingdemic of people receiving notifications on their phones, telling them to self-isolate because of contact with COVID-19 cases, is threatening to create staff shortages across health clubs and

fitness studios in England and Wales.

The fitness sector universally welcomed the lifting of all remaining COVID-19 restrictions on 19 July, which saw the removal of limits on group exercise classes and the end for mandatory social distancing measures.

However, "Freedom Day" – and the weeks leading up to it – have resulted in hundreds of thousands of people (among them gym staff) being "pinged" by the NHS' test and trace app.

This has left many fitness operators short of staff to keep their sites open, as those receiving the notification need to stay away from work for 10 days.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Humphrey Cobbold, chief executive of PureGym, said the huge increase in people being alerted is causing unwanted disruption to businesses that are trying to recover after 16 months of lockdown.

"We've been talking for a while internally about living in the 'United Pingdom' and it has become a huge challenge for individuals and businesses," Cobbold said.

"Up to 25 per cent, in some areas, of our staff have been asked to self-isolate.

"We've been able, through flexibility and sharing of labour, to keep sites open so far but it has been a very close call in certain circumstances.

"I would echo that I think there is a different way of reacting to the pings for vaccinated people and using lateral flow tests that would help industries of all sorts a great deal and keep the economy functioning."

According to government figures, more than 520,000 people were pinged in the week to 7 July and told to self-isolate.

The following week (8 - 15 July), the figure had increased to more than 600,000 people.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The Pingdemic of people receiving notifications on their phones, telling them to self-isolate because of contact with COVID-19 cases, is threatening to create staff shortages across health clubs and fitness studios in England and Wales.
HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,PHR
2021/THUMB348201_754111_930847.jpg
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
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Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
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Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
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Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

News

Humphrey Cobbold says Pingdemic is a huge challenge for the sector as up to a quarter of staff are isolating

The Pingdemic is threatening to create staff shortages across health clubs and fitness studios in England and Wales
Humphrey Cobbold, chief executive of PureGym, said the huge increase in people being alerted and told to self-isolate is causing unwanted disruption
In some areas, up to 25 per cent of PureGym staff have had to remain off work after being "pinged"
According to government figures, more than 600,000 people were pinged between 8 - 15 July

The Pingdemic of people receiving notifications on their phones, telling them to self-isolate because of contact with COVID-19 cases, is threatening to create staff shortages across health clubs and

fitness studios in England and Wales.

The fitness sector universally welcomed the lifting of all remaining COVID-19 restrictions on 19 July, which saw the removal of limits on group exercise classes and the end for mandatory social distancing measures.

However, "Freedom Day" – and the weeks leading up to it – have resulted in hundreds of thousands of people (among them gym staff) being "pinged" by the NHS' test and trace app.

This has left many fitness operators short of staff to keep their sites open, as those receiving the notification need to stay away from work for 10 days.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Humphrey Cobbold, chief executive of PureGym, said the huge increase in people being alerted is causing unwanted disruption to businesses that are trying to recover after 16 months of lockdown.

"We've been talking for a while internally about living in the 'United Pingdom' and it has become a huge challenge for individuals and businesses," Cobbold said.

"Up to 25 per cent, in some areas, of our staff have been asked to self-isolate.

"We've been able, through flexibility and sharing of labour, to keep sites open so far but it has been a very close call in certain circumstances.

"I would echo that I think there is a different way of reacting to the pings for vaccinated people and using lateral flow tests that would help industries of all sorts a great deal and keep the economy functioning."

According to government figures, more than 520,000 people were pinged in the week to 7 July and told to self-isolate.

The following week (8 - 15 July), the figure had increased to more than 600,000 people.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The Pingdemic of people receiving notifications on their phones, telling them to self-isolate because of contact with COVID-19 cases, is threatening to create staff shortages across health clubs and fitness studios in England and Wales.
HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,PHR
2021/THUMB348201_754111_930847.jpg

News

People should concentrate on exercise and staying fit – rather than dieting and weight loss
Sibec Europe, scheduled to take place in Cologne, Germany, from 2 to 5 November 2021,
Swim England has warned that 2,000 swimming pools could be lost forever unless the government
Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston, has joined gym-goers this morning to kick-off the annual National Fitness
A new high-end workspace, designed for the use of personal trainers, coaches and other health
VAT reform, adjustments in business rates and a fitness-led high street regeneration push could see
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
As Surge expands its offer with the launch of a third dedicated Electronic Muscle Stimulation
Peloton has completed the merging of its commercial operations with Precor, the equipment brand it
Half of UK adults aren't happy with their physical fitness levels, according to a study
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HCM Magazine
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HCM Magazine
Everyone’s talking about
Booming membership sales, busy suburban clubs and members visiting during the working day. Operators are reporting it’s good to be back. Kath Hudson finds out what business has been like since the re-set button was pressed
HCM Magazine
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The Gym Group has taken its digital hybrid strategy full circle, piloting in-gym workout pods and studios with its home workout delivery partner, Fiit. HCM talks to the team driving the project
HCM Magazine
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Changes to DNA which occur during exercise give protection against a wide range of diseases, according to new research from the Univesity of Copenhagen
HCM Magazine
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Running booms when health clubs and gyms are closed. Could this enthusiasm result in treadmill training becoming the new spinning? Kath Hudson reports
HCM Magazine
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Active IQ is launching courses to upskill fitness professionals to work in social prescribing, extending the reach of the industry
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Billed as the ‘2021 Experience Tour’, Egym has taken its connected gym floor experience on the road around the UK
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
HCM People

Colin Waggett

CEO, Third Space
We first started talking to KSL over two years ago, so this was not a rushed partnership
HCM magazine
Generations rarely have the opportunity to reset public opinion and effect behaviour change for good, but post-pandemic two unequal movements with a lot in common will be the focus of governments, says David Minton
HCM magazine
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HCM magazine
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
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How have consumers responded to the end of lockdowns? Cesar Carvalho shares some bounceback numbers with HCM
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HCM people

David Beckham

Global partner, F45
This partnership with F45 is an exciting business venture for me
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Life Fitness introduces Integrity SL, the next generation LED console
Life Fitness has unveiled the new Integrity SL, its connected LED console designed for the Integrity Series cardio portfolio.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Power Plate teams up with Myzone for a new exercise experience
Power Plate has teamed up with Myzone to provide its community with new class experiences and the opportunity to offer rewards based on effort, every time they move.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Company profiles
Company profile: fibodo Limited
fibodo is the digital solution helping people lead healthier and happier lives. From grassroots individual ...
Company profiles
Company profile: énergie Fitness
Empowered Brands, owner of the énergie fitness business, has leveraged more than 18 years of ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Gympass
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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Technogym
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