UK fitness sector facing fight to keep group exercise open in tier 3 areas
Leisure Opportunities
Job search
Job Search
see all jobs
Latest job opportunities
IRO £3,500+ per month
East Coast of Saudi Arabia
Everyone Active
Easton Leisure Centre, Bristol
star job
Coach Gyms
£15k basic + commission + Bonus
Leeds, UK
Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa
Keswick, UK
star job
University College School
Hampstead, London, UK

UK fitness sector facing fight to keep group exercise open in tier 3 areas

Job opportunities
The Lansdowne Club
Uncapped Earning Potential
location: Mayfair, London, UK
training opportunity
Les Mills
location: Nationwide, United Kingdom
more jobs

To the relief of the sector, the UK government confirmed yesterday (23 November) that gyms, health clubs and leisure centres will be allowed to open under all three tiers of the new COVID-19 alert system when lockdown ends on 2 December.

There was bad news for those depending on group exercise, however, as this will be banned in Tier 3 areas, adding huge uncertainty for operators – especially boutiques.

The guidance on the tiers – which has been published on the government website – states that group exercise will be allowed in tiers 1 and 2, but in tier 3, "classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead, unless between people of the same household or bubble", a prospect operators have called 'ridiculous'.

Group exercise has been a target for the government right through the pandemic. Prior to the second national lockdown, operators found themselves in battles with local authorities to keep group exercise classes going.

Under the previous three-tier system, the official guidance from the government (provided by the DCMS) was that exercise classes could take place in Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas, providing the classes adhered to social distancing and that there was no mixing between the individual participants.

Yet, there was evidence that local authorities who found themselves in tier 3 were either unaware of or ignored this guidance when it came to group exercise – with many of them implementing stricter restrictions. These varied from group exercise being restricted via the "rule of six" to outright bans, even though this was not mandated nationally.

Now, it seems that the government has taken a much stricter stance on group workouts – but it is unclear why.

Liz Terry, editor of HCM said: "The industry will fight this irrational decision – group exercise is a vital part of people's fitness regimes and significantly improves both fitness levels and exercise adherence.

"We think the government has simply been scared off by the word 'group', and - rather than working to establish whether there is any risk – has taken the 'easy way' and banned it outright, without any good reason whatsoever.

"Group exercise has been running in a COVID-secure way right through the summer in areas in all tiers, operating within the strict framework agreed between ukactive and the government and there have been no known cases of community transmission.

"The industry has proven group exercise is safe and the government and local authorities need to familiarise themselves with the true nature of this valuable form of exercise and adjust their ruling to allow it to continue."

• To read the government's guidance on the three tiers, click here.

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
To the relief of the sector, the UK government confirmed yesterday (23 November) that gyms, health clubs and leisure centres will be allowed to open under all three tiers of the new COVID-19 alert system when lockdown ends on 2 December.

More News

1 - 15 of 43,228
16 Apr 2021
Health clubs and gyms will be able to open their doors to individual training sessions on 30 April. As with other home nations, however, indoor ... More
15 Apr 2021
As health clubs and gyms reopen following lockdowns, it is "absolutely crucial" operators take a tough stance when it comes to enforcing social distancing and ... More
15 Apr 2021
IHRSA and Fitness Brasil say they have signed a partnership agreement that will see the two organisations working together on industry events for 'at least ... More
14 Apr 2021
EuropeActive has joined the All Policies for a Healthy Europe (APHE) initiative, as part of its strategy to increasingly engage with EU health policymaking. Launched ... More
14 Apr 2021
Lack of exercise is a major cause of death from COVID-19, according to new research, with only advanced age and organ transplant leading to greater ... More
13 Apr 2021
World Leisure Organization (WLO) has opened the entry process for its International Innovation Prize. Now in its ninth year, the award celebrates organisations that have ... More
Miha Bodytec GmbH
Miha Bodytec GmbH
13 Apr 2021
Alton Towers theme park in the UK will offer visitors the opportunity to indulge in some 80s nostalgia when it launches three "retro" rides this ... More
12 Apr 2021
Health clubs, leisure centres and studios in England have opened today (12 April) for the first time during 2021. Some opened their doors to exercisers ... More
11 Apr 2021
A major new initiative will look to strengthen and unite the fitness industry's voice in influencing policy and policymakers in the US. The National Health ... More
09 Apr 2021
A parliamentary report is calling for a £3bn intervention fund to build back better health as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report, ... More
09 Apr 2021
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in visits to the world's top 100 museums and galleries falling by three quarters. According to an annual survey, conducted ... More
09 Apr 2021
Leisure centre operator Everyone Active has formed a partnership with WW (formerly called Weight Watchers), which will see the two combining their exercise and dietary ... More
FreeMotion Fitness
FreeMotion Fitness
09 Apr 2021
Adults suffering from chronic pain should be advised to take exercise, rather than be prescribed painkillers, according to new guidance from the National Institute for ... More
08 Apr 2021
As health clubs and fitness studios in England are counting the hours down to reopening day on Monday 12 April, PureGym has announced it will ... More
07 Apr 2021
Empowered Brands, the franchise investment business that acquired énergie Fitness out of a CVA in June 2020, has announced plans to accelerate the roll-out of ... More
1 - 15 of 43,228
Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces