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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

Scotland's decision to keep gyms shut until September 'ridiculous' and shows lack of respect for the sector

Nicola Sturgeon seems hell-bent on keeping gyms closed regardless of the cost to users
– Duncan Bannatyne

Gyms, health clubs and swimming pools in Scotland have finally been given an "indicative" time for a possible re-opening – but the 14 September date has angered the sector.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon, who hasn't exactly endeared herself to the fitness industry by previously branding gyms as "hotbeds for transmission", made the announcement at her daily press conference on 30 July.

Gyms in England reopened last weekend, while gym facilities have also opened in Northern Ireland. It is believed that a date for Wales will be announced shortly – and that it will be set for mid- or late August.

The Scottish government's decision was branded "ridiculous" by a number of industry stakeholders – including entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne, founder of the Bannatyne Group.

A furious Bannatyne took to Twitter in the wake of Sturgeon's announcement.

"Nicola Sturgeon seems hell-bent on keeping gyms closed regardless of the cost to users," he tweeted.

"She won’t take the time to visit one of our health clubs to see how we keep members safe."

Bannatyne also took Sturgeon to task on her decision to allow pubs and bingo halls to open prior to gyms.

"Gyms have membership logging in systems that allow us to track members movements historically," he said.

"The system tells us which other members were in the club at the same time. This gives us the best track and trace system in the world – no pubs have this.

"We have an indicative date and I don’t trust her not to change that date for spurious reasons.

"Her advisors have not told her that a 30,000sq ft Health Club with the best air circulation in existence and temperature testing with a mandatory mask policy is less safe than a pub, bingo hall or bowling alley. Show me the evidence that I am wrong."

Industry body ukactive also condemned the decision – and said it would be in touch with the Scottish government to try and chart a "clear roadmap" for reopenings.

"We are hugely disappointed and frustrated by this announcement," said Huw Edwards, ukactive CEO.

"These facilities should be open now, and the sector should be afforded the respect given to other parts of society.

“Our sector deserves clarity but sadly this is lacking from the Government’s actions to date, posing the threat of permanent closure to hundreds of gyms and leisure facilities which provide a vital public health service to communities across Scotland.

"We have consistently invited the government and health officials to visit any of the hundreds of gym and leisure centre show sites across the country, and witness how facilities would operate with thorough social distancing measures and hygiene standards in place.

"This invite should be taken up, as the failure to visit facilities undermines the decision-making process within the Scottish Government.

“Conversations will continue with government to establish a clear roadmap to reopening.”

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Gyms, health clubs and swimming pools in Scotland have finally been given an "indicative" time for a possible re-opening – but the 14 September date has angered the sector.
HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,PUB
2020/THUMB346004_552193_273819.jpg
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News

Scotland's decision to keep gyms shut until September 'ridiculous' and shows lack of respect for the sector

Nicola Sturgeon seems hell-bent on keeping gyms closed regardless of the cost to users
– Duncan Bannatyne

Gyms, health clubs and swimming pools in Scotland have finally been given an "indicative" time for a possible re-opening – but the 14 September date has angered the sector.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon, who hasn't exactly endeared herself to the fitness industry by previously branding gyms as "hotbeds for transmission", made the announcement at her daily press conference on 30 July.

Gyms in England reopened last weekend, while gym facilities have also opened in Northern Ireland. It is believed that a date for Wales will be announced shortly – and that it will be set for mid- or late August.

The Scottish government's decision was branded "ridiculous" by a number of industry stakeholders – including entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne, founder of the Bannatyne Group.

A furious Bannatyne took to Twitter in the wake of Sturgeon's announcement.

"Nicola Sturgeon seems hell-bent on keeping gyms closed regardless of the cost to users," he tweeted.

"She won’t take the time to visit one of our health clubs to see how we keep members safe."

Bannatyne also took Sturgeon to task on her decision to allow pubs and bingo halls to open prior to gyms.

"Gyms have membership logging in systems that allow us to track members movements historically," he said.

"The system tells us which other members were in the club at the same time. This gives us the best track and trace system in the world – no pubs have this.

"We have an indicative date and I don’t trust her not to change that date for spurious reasons.

"Her advisors have not told her that a 30,000sq ft Health Club with the best air circulation in existence and temperature testing with a mandatory mask policy is less safe than a pub, bingo hall or bowling alley. Show me the evidence that I am wrong."

Industry body ukactive also condemned the decision – and said it would be in touch with the Scottish government to try and chart a "clear roadmap" for reopenings.

"We are hugely disappointed and frustrated by this announcement," said Huw Edwards, ukactive CEO.

"These facilities should be open now, and the sector should be afforded the respect given to other parts of society.

“Our sector deserves clarity but sadly this is lacking from the Government’s actions to date, posing the threat of permanent closure to hundreds of gyms and leisure facilities which provide a vital public health service to communities across Scotland.

"We have consistently invited the government and health officials to visit any of the hundreds of gym and leisure centre show sites across the country, and witness how facilities would operate with thorough social distancing measures and hygiene standards in place.

"This invite should be taken up, as the failure to visit facilities undermines the decision-making process within the Scottish Government.

“Conversations will continue with government to establish a clear roadmap to reopening.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Gyms, health clubs and swimming pools in Scotland have finally been given an "indicative" time for a possible re-opening – but the 14 September date has angered the sector.
HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,PUB
2020/THUMB346004_552193_273819.jpg

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Our sector is still misunderstood by those in power. It’s time to accelerate the fight to change this by creating a new vocabulary to define what we do, why it matters and how we can contribute
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feature
We look at how you can unlock hidden value in your operation with a complete end-to-end leisure management solution
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The owner of Nisus Fitness in County Kerry, Joe O'Connor explains how MZ-Remote helped grow memberships during the pandemic and transform Nisus into a hybrid boutique
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Our vision is that health is not the absence of disease but the abundance of vitality
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promotion
Our world has changed since March and together, we are learning and adapting to how this sector can continue to thrive in this COVID conscious world.
Opinion: Why fitness clubs and facilities need to evolve in a COVID-conscious world
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Premier Software Solutions offers scalable software for single or multi-site businesses
Premier Software Solutions' flagship business management system, Core by Premier Software, is the leading single and multi-site solution designed specifically for the spa, wellness and leisure industries.
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
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