NEWS
UK fitness sector facing fight to keep group exercise open in tier 3 areas
POSTED 24 Nov 2020 . BY Tom Walker
It seems that the word 'group' induces panic among authorities who do not seem to have a clear understanding what group exercise is Credit: Shutterstock.com/Flamingo Images
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.
 


CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2021

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
 
Leisure Management - UK fitness sector facing fight to keep group exercise open in tier 3 areas...
23 Jan 2021 Leisure Management: daily news and jobs
 
 
HOME
JOBS
NEWS
FEATURES
PRODUCTS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION
PRINT SUBSCRIPTION
ADVERTISE
CONTACT US
Sign up for FREE ezine
Latest news

24 Nov 2020

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

It seems that the word 'group' induces panic among authorities who do not seem to have a clear understanding what group exercise is

It seems that the word 'group' induces panic among authorities who do not seem to have a clear understanding what group exercise is
photo: Shutterstock.com/Flamingo Images

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.



Connect with
Leisure Management
Magazine:
View issue contents
Sign up:
Instant Alerts/zines

Print edition
 

News headlines
Parliamentary Petition calls for gyms to reopen first after lockdown
Parliamentary Petition calls for gyms to reopen first after lockdown   20 Jan 2021

HCM editor, Liz Terry, has launched a Parliamentary Petition calling for gyms to be in the first wave of reopenings after the lockdown and for the .... more>>
689 weak policies by successive governments blamed for failure to tackle UK's obesity crisis.
689 weak policies by successive governments blamed for failure to tackle UK's obesity crisis.
  22 Jan 2021

The failure to tackle the UK's obesity crisis is down to successive governments being guilty of weak policy design, lack of effectiveness and botched .... more>>
Dusit opens serene lakeside wellness resort with 18 hot spring pools in China
Dusit opens serene lakeside wellness resort with 18 hot spring pools in China   22 Jan 2021

Thai hotel group Dusit International has opened a brand new resort on the lower reaches of China’s Yangtze River and the shores of Lake Tai, in .... more>>
Les Mills launches new hybrid digital solution – Les Mills Content
Les Mills launches new hybrid digital solution – Les Mills Content   22 Jan 2021

Les Mills has launched a new digital content solution to support health and fitness operators in engaging their members outside the four walls of .... more>>
Vladi Kovanic announces monthly Medical Wellness Congress webinar series
Vladi Kovanic announces monthly Medical Wellness Congress webinar series   21 Jan 2021

The Medical Wellness Congress (MWC) is launching a monthly webinar series after its inaugural event was postponed until 28-29 June 2021. Conference .... more>>
Gymbox moves into the hotel market with citizenM deal
Gymbox moves into the hotel market with citizenM deal   21 Jan 2021

Gymbox has entered the hospitality space with the signing of a deal to deliver in-room exercise sessions to guests staying at citizenM hotels around .... more>>
Company profile


TVS Group

Our company was established in April 2009 and this year marks our 10 year anniversary.

View full profile>>

Catalogue gallery


Featured Supplier

SPATEX Virtual – coming soon to a screen near you!

SPATEX Virtual – coming soon to a screen near you!

With live exhibitions cancelled for the immediate future, SPATEX is making its global virtual debut from 2 - 4 February. More>>




in this issue

• Gyms open, but group exercise fight looms
• ukactive reveals details of new Active Standard
• PureGym 'burning £4m a week' during lockdown



Latest jobs

Jobs Search



Assistant Development Officer (Active Lifestyles)
Salary: Band D (scp 5-6 £19,321 - £19,698)
Location: Sefton, Liverpool, UK
Company: Sefton Council
Climbing manager
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: Plymouth, UK
Company: Everyone Active
Pool and Sports Centre Manager (Maternity Cover)
Salary: Competitive
Location: Leicester, UK
Company: Leicester Grammar School
Diary dates
Powered by leisurediary.com

28 Jan 2021

Medical Wellness Congress Webinar

Online,



Leisure Management magazine 2018 issue 1
Leisure Management
2018 issue 1

View issue contents
View on turning pages
Download PDF
  Promotional feature: Alliance Leisure
The future of leisure in times of austerity More>>
  Profile: Stephen Hulme
We look back on the career of Everyone Active CEO Stephen Hulme More>>


Leisure Management magazine 2016 issue 1

Leisure Management
2016 issue 1

View issue contents
View turning pages
Download PDF
  New opening: Future of leisure
Selby Summit focuses on activity, not sport. Is it a new era for leisure centres? More>>
  Community: Bright Hart Lane
Grant Cornwell on the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s community work More>>


Published by The Leisure Media Company Ltd Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ. Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd