Leisure centres across Dacorum have added their voice to a petition to keep gyms open as an ‘essential service’ during this month’s lockdown.
Berkhamsted Leisure Centre, Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre and Jarman Park Athletics Track have joined the campaign to reopen gyms under the new restrictions.
They are all managed by sports and leisure operator Everyone Active, in partnership with Dacorum Borough Council, and have been forced to shut again for a month.
It’s thought the second lockdown could be even more detrimental to people’s health as a result of shorter daylight hours and colder weather stopping people from being able to exercise outdoors.
According to industry body ukactive’s research, 58% managed their mental health by being active during the last lockdown, which Everyone Active believes strengthens the argument for gyms and leisure centres being deemed essential this time around.
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They add that the measures taken to ensure venues across the country are Covid-secure have been successful in contributing to a low transmission rate within gyms.
Steve Cox, Everyone Active’s contract manager, added: “This is an incredibly difficult time for the leisure industry and our centres in Dacorum.
“We are urging our members to get behind us and to support their local centre by signing the petition to encourage the Government to keep gyms open here.
“We’re so proud of all our colleagues for their hard work and dedication to providing a safe environment for our customers and can’t wait to reopen our doors once again.”
David Bibby, managing director of Everyone Active, has also written an open letter in support of the petition.
In the letter, he said: “Our gyms and leisure centres can help and support people during these unprecedented times and the decision to close them prevents us doing more for our customers and local communities.
“Therefore, we are supporting the 500,000 individuals who have so far signed the petition to encourage the Government to prevent gyms from closing during the second lockdown.”
Gyms were among the last businesses allowed to reopen in July following the first lockdown, and the government has insisted that it will not change its approach over the next four weeks.