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Boris Johnson set to let gyms reopen 'in days' in latest easing of lockdown
9 July 2020, 08:25
Boris Johnson is set to give gyms the green light to reopen within days in the latest easing of coronavirus lockdown measures.
The Prime Minister is reportedly expected to allow indoor exercise spaces to open their doors in mid-July, ending the shutdown which began in March.
He is also said to be considering allowing beauty salons, bowling alleys and casinos to reopen at the same time.
Last week, Mr Johnson said gyms will be reopen "in a couple of weeks".
He told LBC: "The best way forward for the country is to get the economy moving again.
"We are going to reopen gyms as soon as we can do it in a Covid-secure way and I think that the date for reopening gyms at the moment, if we can do it, is in just a couple of weeks' time."
On Wednesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak hinted at gyms reopening soon while announcing new discount vouchers for dining out in the Commons.
He said: “Perhaps alongside 'eat out to help out', we can make progress on reopening our gyms.”
New measures which could be put in place in gyms alongside social distancing include temperature checks on arrival, partitions between machines, and turning off water fountains.
Gym operators were left fuming after pubs were allowed to open before them on July 4.
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."
Indoor gyms will reopen in Northern Ireland today, while Scotland and Wales are expected to wait longer.
It would be the latest step in a string of easing measures which now allows people to dine out, meet in groups no larger than six, and drink in pubs.