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Les Mills
Les Mills
Les Mills
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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

UK fitness sector facing fight to keep group exercise open in tier 3 areas

To the relief of the sector, the UK government confirmed yesterday (23 November) that gyms, health clubs and leisure centres will be allowed to open under all three tiers of the new COVID-19 alert system when lockdown ends on 2 December.

There was bad news for those depending on group exercise, however, as this will be banned in tier 3 areas, adding huge uncertainty for operators – especially boutiques.

The guidance on the tiers – which has been published on the government website – states that group exercise will be allowed in tiers 1 and 2, but in tier 3, "classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead, unless between people of the same household or bubble", a prospect operators have called 'ridiculous'.

Group exercise has been a target for the government right through the pandemic. Prior to the second national lockdown, operators found themselves in battles with local authorities to keep group exercise classes going.

Under the previous three-tier system, the official guidance from the government (provided by the DCMS) was that exercise classes could take place in Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas, providing the classes adhered to social distancing and that there was no mixing between the individual participants.

Yet, there was evidence that local authorities who found themselves in tier 3 were either unaware of or ignored this guidance when it came to group exercise – with many of them implementing stricter restrictions. These varied from group exercise being restricted via the "rule of six" to outright bans, even though this was not mandated nationally.

Now, it seems that the government has taken a much stricter stance on group workouts – but it is unclear why.

Liz Terry, editor of HCM said: "The industry will fight this irrational decision – group exercise is a vital part of people's fitness regimes and significantly improves both fitness levels and exercise adherence.

"We think the government has simply been scared off by the word 'group', and - rather than working to establish whether there is any risk – has taken the 'easy way' and banned it outright, without any good reason whatsoever.

"Group exercise has been running in a COVID-secure way right through the summer in areas in all tiers, operating within the strict framework agreed between ukactive and the government and there have been no known cases of community transmission.

"The industry has proven group exercise is safe and the government and local authorities need to familiarise themselves with the true nature of this valuable form of exercise and adjust their ruling to allow it to continue."

• To read the government's guidance on the three tiers, click here.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
To the relief of the sector, the UK government confirmed yesterday (23 November) that gyms, health clubs and leisure centres will be allowed to open under all three tiers of the new COVID-19 alert system when lockdown ends on 2 December.
PTS,SAR,HAF,FIT,IND,PUB
2020/THUMB346684_443374_728818.jpg
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News

UK fitness sector facing fight to keep group exercise open in tier 3 areas

To the relief of the sector, the UK government confirmed yesterday (23 November) that gyms, health clubs and leisure centres will be allowed to open under all three tiers of the new COVID-19 alert system when lockdown ends on 2 December.

There was bad news for those depending on group exercise, however, as this will be banned in tier 3 areas, adding huge uncertainty for operators – especially boutiques.

The guidance on the tiers – which has been published on the government website – states that group exercise will be allowed in tiers 1 and 2, but in tier 3, "classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead, unless between people of the same household or bubble", a prospect operators have called 'ridiculous'.

Group exercise has been a target for the government right through the pandemic. Prior to the second national lockdown, operators found themselves in battles with local authorities to keep group exercise classes going.

Under the previous three-tier system, the official guidance from the government (provided by the DCMS) was that exercise classes could take place in Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas, providing the classes adhered to social distancing and that there was no mixing between the individual participants.

Yet, there was evidence that local authorities who found themselves in tier 3 were either unaware of or ignored this guidance when it came to group exercise – with many of them implementing stricter restrictions. These varied from group exercise being restricted via the "rule of six" to outright bans, even though this was not mandated nationally.

Now, it seems that the government has taken a much stricter stance on group workouts – but it is unclear why.

Liz Terry, editor of HCM said: "The industry will fight this irrational decision – group exercise is a vital part of people's fitness regimes and significantly improves both fitness levels and exercise adherence.

"We think the government has simply been scared off by the word 'group', and - rather than working to establish whether there is any risk – has taken the 'easy way' and banned it outright, without any good reason whatsoever.

"Group exercise has been running in a COVID-secure way right through the summer in areas in all tiers, operating within the strict framework agreed between ukactive and the government and there have been no known cases of community transmission.

"The industry has proven group exercise is safe and the government and local authorities need to familiarise themselves with the true nature of this valuable form of exercise and adjust their ruling to allow it to continue."

• To read the government's guidance on the three tiers, click here.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
To the relief of the sector, the UK government confirmed yesterday (23 November) that gyms, health clubs and leisure centres will be allowed to open under all three tiers of the new COVID-19 alert system when lockdown ends on 2 December.
PTS,SAR,HAF,FIT,IND,PUB
2020/THUMB346684_443374_728818.jpg

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The science shows being fit mitigates against COVID-19. We’ve proven we can operate safely under the SAGE COVID-secure Framework. Time to join it up by securing essential service status
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Smart clubs, a deal with 1Rebel and a collaboration with Amazon. The co-founder and CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Armah Sports talks to Kate Cracknell
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In collaboration with ukactive, FunXtion has driven a global discussion with some of the world’s leading fitness operators and influencers, exploring how digitalisation will influence the delivery of fitness services and products moving forwards.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: What does a socially distanced leisure centre and health club look like?
The world has had to get used to social distancing in 2020 and any business operating in the leisure and hospitality sectors has had to face this challenge more than most.
Company profiles
Company profile: Venueserve Fitness
Venueserve Fitness is an easy-to-use, low-cost web- and mobile online exercise platform, already being used ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Legend Club Management Systems (UK) Ltd
Legend provides the leading software solution for driving improvements in leisure operations. We deliver savings ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Uniforms
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FunXtion International BV: Fitness Software
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Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
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Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Les Mills
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