The UK government's 'Rule of Six' has come into force in physical activity facilities today (24 September).
The good news is that gym and pool activities, including group exercises classes, are exempt from the Rule of Six, so long as COVID-19 protocols are followed. This ruling also applies to aqua aerobics classes, which are permitted to continue.
Children's indoor sports are also allowed.
There had been some initial confusion about the status of gyms in relation to the new Rule of Six, but HCM has confirmed the ruling with the DCMS today.
The continuation of gym classes comes as a relief to the industry and the dispensation is a credit to the sector's efforts to keep facilities safe, according to ukactive.
"It's a mark of the work done by the sector in ensuring facilities are safe that COVID-19 prevalence remains extremely low across the physical activity sector, and as such the sector is able to continue to operate," said CEO, Huw Edwards. The full list of indoor physical activities which are exempt from the Rule of Six are:
- Indoor team sports involving children aged under 18, played formally and under government-approved guidance
- Use of indoor sport and leisure facilities, including gyms and swimming pools
- Organised indoor activities or exercise classes (these can take place in larger numbers, provided groups of more than six do not mix and the facility meets the government’s indoor facility guidance)
- Outdoor sports played formally and under government-approved guidance
- Outdoor sport and physical activity events following event-organiser guidance
- Informal indoor or outdoor sport and physical activity in groups of six or fewer while social distancing and following government guidance, and guidance from the sport’s governing body.
Indoor sports are heavily affected by the changes – the new rule will be applied to all adult indoor team sports, meaning that only six people over the age of 18 can train together.
• To read the government's full guidance on the "rule of six" and how it affects recreational sport and physical activity, click here