When are gyms reopening in the UK and will you have to wear a face mask?

14 July 2020, 17:11 | Updated: 14 July 2020, 17:21

The date that gyms will be allowed to open in England, Scotland and Wales has been revealed (stock images)
When can gyms reopen in England, Scotland and Wales? (stock images). Picture: Getty
Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

Your need-to-know on the new rules and government guidelines about gyms reopening in England, Scotland and Wales.

The government announced last week that gyms in England will be allowed to reopen from 25 July.

Speaking on July 9, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "The reopening of gyms is the news millions across the country have been waiting for with many people desperate to jump on a spinning bike or dive into a pool.

"Our comprehensive guidance will ensure gyms, pools and leisure centres have the support they need to reopen safely for their customers and staff.

"Helping people return to gyms safely will also help the nation get match-fit to defeat this virus."

Read more on the gov.uk website here.

Gyms can reopen in England from 25 July (stock image)
Gyms can reopen in England from 25 July (stock image). Picture: Getty

What will the new gym rules be?

Gyms' ability to reopen will depend on them sticking to a strict set of rules that will minimise the spread of coronavirus.

The new rules will include reducing class sizes, limiting the number of people allowed on equipment and thoroughly disinfecting machines between uses.

Changing rooms may be also closed, with gym-goers being told they'll need to arrive and leave in the same clothes.

Gyms will also be required to keep a record of attendees for 21 days so they can let them know if there has been a Covid-19 outbreak in the vicinity.

Read the full set of government guidelines here.

A Whitehall source told the Daily Mail: "Gyms have posed a particular challenge because of the nature of their business.

"They basically involve having a large number of people indoors, sharing equipment and getting out of breath."When you are dealing with a respiratory virus that is obviously a challenge."

Will you have to wear a face mask in the gym?

It has been confirmed by the government that you will not need to wear a face mask when going to the gym with Mr Dowden saying: "We have not taken a decision to require the wearing of face masks in respect of gyms."

Read more: Do shop workers have to wear face masks?

When will gyms reopen in Scotland?

Scotland has now moved into phase three of lockdown, but it hasn't yet been confirmed when gyms can reopen.

In a speech on 9 July, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "There are other activities which are included in the phase 3 of the route map that we are not yet able to attach a firm and specific date to".

Ms Sturgeon added that this "includes the reopening of indoor gyms."

She also confirmed that they would not reopen before 31 July.


Read more: Government release posters to show which restaurants are enrolled in Eat Out to Help Out scheme

It is not yet known when indoor gyms will be able to open in Scotland and Wales (stock image)
It is not yet known when indoor gyms will be able to open in Scotland and Wales (stock image). Picture: Getty

When will gyms reopen in Wales?

Wales have also not confirmed when indoor gyms will be allowed to reopen, but First Minister Mark Drakeford did address the issue in a speech last Friday.

After announcing that outdoor facilities could reopen from 20 July, he said: "I have had a number of contacts from indoor gym owners saying to me that they could do a lot of what they do outdoors if we could allow them to do that and we've responded to those requests.

"Indoor gyms are a different matter.

"I think there is evidence in other parts of the world that indoor gyms are places where the virus can flare up and therefore it's important to have additional mitigating measures in place.

"We'll use these three weeks to discuss that with the sector. If it is possible to be confident that those mitigating measures can be put in place then we'll consider that as well as part of the next three-week review."

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