Will gyms be forced to close across UK amid coronavirus crisis and is it safe?

16 March 2020, 15:29 | Updated: 17 March 2020, 16:45

Gyms across the countries are still operating
Gyms across the countries are still operating. Picture: PA

Health and fitness fanatics are concerned by the possibility of gyms closing to prevent spreading of COVID-19.

For a large number of Brits, going to the gym is a part of their daily routine, and it something they find hard to accept giving up completely.

However, the fears of coronavirus spreading has millions wondering what exactly will happen now, after the country is expecting bans from the Government.

It's a huge concern for many, and we're yet to receive official word on what exactly will happen in regard to gyms and whether or not they stay open.

Gym-goers will have to take extra measures
Gym-goers will have to take extra measures. Picture: PA

Is it safe to attend the gym?

No public health warnings have been issued yet, and we don't have any specific advice regarding gyms and fitness facilities, but plenty of medical experts have had their say on the matter.

Dr Norman Swan, a physician and journalist has spoken on ABC's Coronacast - a podcast about the coronavirus - stating that gyms are indeed "high risk" locations where the disease can easily spread.

When asked how likely someone is to contract coronavirus in a gym, Normal stated: “You have to say it is spreading, and to say it is not is burying your head in the sand. 

“One of the high prevalence areas from some of the Chinese data are gyms.”

He added that the reason gyms are at such high risk of spreading the virus is because they're very humid places, and the dampness from everyone's sweat is very dangerous when it comes to germs.

"Dampness is a bad thing for spreading germs so you want to swab those surfaces down,” he said.

Gyms across the country are issuing their statements
Gyms across the country are issuing their statements. Picture: PA

However, Norman did state that this "doesn't mean you stop going to the gym but you've got to be super careful.”

If you're still insistent on going to the gym, it's important to increase your hygiene standards by a lot.

Have any gyms been forced to close?

As of yet, no gyms have been forced, but a lot are issues statements to reassure their customers that they're taking extra steps to ensure their facilities are clean and people stay as safe as possible.

PureGym has written: "We are taking additional precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of all our members, colleagues and self-employed personal trainers – this is our number one priority.

"We are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and following the advice provided by Public Health England (PHE). In addition, we are working very closely with our industry governing body UKActive and other gym operators in the UK.

"PureGym is committed to providing our members with a safe and hygienic space to exercise in and we are taking this situation extremely seriously.

"Our colleagues have been extensively briefed on what actions they need to take, as per Government guidance, to reduce the risk of the virus spreading."