Jubilation as group exercise reopens in most of the UK
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Jubilation as group exercise reopens in most of the UK

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Indoor group exercise can recommence in England and Scotland today (17 May), as part of the easing of lockdown measures.

England has today moved to "Step 3" on the government's roadmap out of lockdown, which also marks the return of organised adult sport indoors.

Saunas and steamrooms may also reopen from today.

In Wales, group activities reopened on 3 May, restricted to 15 people per class, but will be extended to 30 people from today.

In Northern Ireland, operators have been given an indicative date of 24 May for indoor group exercise and organised sport to reopen.

Leisure operators and facility providers will still be required to follow government-approved safety guidelines to ensure participants can return safely and confidently.

Group exercise classes will implement strict safety measures co-developed by industry body, ukactive, and partners including Sport England, DCMS and SAGE, which includes guidance on regular sanitisation, ventilation and social distancing.

According to ukactive CEO Huw Edwards, the reopening marks a major milestone for gyms, leisure centres, pools and boutique studios.

Edwards said: “Group exercise classes and indoor sports are loved by millions of people across the UK so it’s great to see them start to return today.

“Through these popular community activities, our members have become the engine room of physical activity in our nations, making their reopening a vital moment for our physical and mental recovery.

“However, our sector still needs support and we will continue to fight hard for the financial and regulatory help which is urgently required so that as many facilities as possible are able to survive and recover fully.

“Our members have shown tremendous courage and resilience in the harshest of environments, having to make tough operational decisions while facing no income during this period of lockdown.

“It’s time to support these vital facilities to play their fullest role in our nation’s health and wellbeing.”

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Indoor group exercise can recommence in England and Scotland today (17 May), as part of the easing of lockdown measures.
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