Health clubs, gyms, indoor pools and leisure centres have reopened in Wales – nearly five months after being forced to close as part of the nationwide lockdown.
The latest easing of regulations in Wales came into force today (10 August), one week after the country's pubs and restaurants were able to throw open their doors to customers.
Commenting on the reopenings, ukactive CEO Huw Edwards said: "This is a health crisis, so we now look forward to playing our central role – using our facilities and staff to help combat COVID-19 by strengthening the physical and mental health of people in every community.
“We know that many people in Wales have missed their favourite activities, workouts and sports over the past four plus months.
“The health and safety of staff and customers is the number one priority for our sector.
"Having demonstrated to the Welsh Government and public health officials the hygiene and social distancing measures in place, our sector looks forward to showing customers they can return to their gyms and leisure facilities safely and confidently.”
The reopening of facilities in Wales comes as the latest data collected by Community Leisure UK (CLUK) shows that a third of leisure trusts in the UK face 'unviability' in the next six months,
without financial support.
The four-month lockdown of facilities has led to leisure trusts burning their financial reserves to prop up their businesses.
CLUK estimates that, by March 2021, the leisure trust sector will collectively have just 10 per cent of the financial reserves it had pre-lockdown.
The situation for facility operators is particularly bad in Scotland, where the Scottish Government has refused to allow gyms, pools and indoor sports facilities to reopen
. A provisional reopening date for the country's facilities has been set for 14 September.