Health clubs are controlling COVID – sector reports less than one case per 100k visits since April reopening
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Health clubs are controlling COVID – sector reports less than one case per 100k visits since April reopening

The number of positive COVID-19 cases among people who have visited gyms is at "extremely low levels"
Figures just published by UK Active show an overall rate of 0.83 cases per 100,000 visits
The results cover the period since gyms reopened (12 April 2021) to 21 November 2021
UK Active collects data on a weekly basis from more than 1,500 facilities across the UK
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The number of positive COVID-19 cases among people who have visited health clubs, leisure centres and swimming pools in the UK continues to be at "extremely low levels".

Figures published by UK Active – covering the period since gyms reopened (12 April 2021) to 21 November 2021 – show an overall rate of 0.83 cases per 100,000 visits.

Since restrictions were eased in April, the UK Active Research Institute has continued to collect data on a weekly basis from more than 1,500 facilities across the UK, representing more than 125 million visits from April to November 2021.

Supported by UK Active’s ‘Fit Together’ campaign, operators have committed to maintaining high safety standards after government restrictions were relaxed, as part of efforts to help reassure employees and the public that their facilities are a safe place to work – and to work out.

The results show that while the case rate for the UK’s general population has fluctuated over the time period, the prevalence of the virus has remained "extremely low" in the UK fitness and leisure sector.

In terms of the overall rate measured across the whole period since the sector’s first reopening in 2020, data from 25 July 2020 to 21 November 2021 shows that facilities in the UK have seen more than 160 million visits, with an overall rate of 1.6 cases per 100,000 visits.

The data collected by UK Active covers a mixture of facility types including health clubs, gyms, leisure centres and boutique fitness studios, as well as different operating models, including private multi-site chains, public leisure trusts and independent operators and studios.

Huw Edwards, CEO of UK Active, said: “The fitness and leisure sector has gone above and beyond in its dedication to customer and staff safety, with laser-focused attention to high standards of cleanliness, and this is seen once again in the safety data we are publishing today, which shows tens of millions of people using these facilities each week, confident in their safety.

“Furthermore, the nation’s gyms, pools, leisure centres and studios are essential for helping people to recover from the pandemic both mentally and physically, and the Government will require our sector’s support more than ever in the coming months as we look to turn around the decline in our activity levels that worsened as a result of the pandemic.”

Liz Terry, editor of HCM said: "It remains clear that health clubs, gyms, studios and leisure centres are some of the safest places to spend time and the industry is to be applauded for the amazing work being done to keep members safe and healthy and keep exercise options open and available, as people continue to battle for their health.

"I would argue – as I have done since the start of the pandemic – that the more time people spend in these safe, regulated environments the better and the industry must continue to lobby for essential status to ensure that governments fully comprehend just how valuable our contribution is.

"As someone who is recovering from COVID-19 myself, I'm hugely grateful to my own health club for the support I'm getting to rebuild my fitness – I can think of no other way I could be getting this help if it were not available through our industry."

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The number of positive COVID-19 cases among people who have visited health clubs, leisure centres and swimming pools in the UK continues to be at "extremely low levels".
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