Why can pubs re-open but gyms and swimming pools remain closed?

24 June 2020, 11:02 | Updated: 24 June 2020, 12:13

Why can't gyms re-open along with other businesses?
Why can't gyms re-open along with other businesses? Picture: PA

By Adrian Sherling

Pubs and restaurants will re-open, but gyms and swimming pools will have to remain closed. LBC looks into why the government has made that decision.

Boris Johnson announced a major easing of lockdown rules yesterday in the House of Commons in an attempt to get the economy going again.

Restaurants, hairdressers and playgrounds are among the venues allowed to re-open in England from 4th July.

But gym-goers and swimmers have been left frustrated that their wait has to continue.

Jane Nickerson of UK Swimming said: "Many will fail to understand how pubs, restaurants, cinemas, museums and hair salons have been given the go ahead to open on 4th July but not chlorine-filled swimming pools.

"I share their frustrations and demand that the Government hastily reconsiders this decision to ignore what is a lifeline to so many."

And Olympic medallist Adam Peaty pointed out of pools: "It literally is a pool of disinfectant."

Business Minister Alok Sharma explained why the government have blocked the re-opening of gyms.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, he said: "If you look at gyms, you’re going to be exerting yourself. The chances of you having aerosol dispersion is going to be higher and therefore there are higher risks in certain close proximity settings.

"We want to move to a position where we can open gyms and leisure facilities and we hope to be able to do that at some point in July.

"But that will only be able to happen if we continue to meet those five tests and people follow the guidelines that we have in place right now."

When will children be able to go swimming again?
When will children be able to go swimming again? Picture: PA

Nick pushed him on why swimming pools cannot open up again, given that chlorine kills coronavirus.

Mr Sharma said: "I’m sure you can give me a whole list of businesses which are not currently open and we’re having conversations with these sectors on a daily basis and we’re working out how they can re-open safely.

"This is a balance of risks. If we were opening up too fast, I’m sure you’d be questioning me on how come we are going so fast."