‘Lockdown’ forces 400 gyms to reduce blindness in UK

England lost 400 gyms. Ukactive, the British fitness association, estimates that 400 public gyms, swimming pools and recreation centres, run by local councils, which typically have swimming pools, gyms and other sports facilities, have to reduce blindness by 2021 due to the effects of the pandemic.

On the other hand, the employer emphasized that there are another 2,400 centers at risk of closing if they do not receive financial support, which will harm 17.1 million users per year and up to 100,000 jobs. According to the entity, such assistance must be “urgent, personalized, financial and Government-regulated.”

The closure of the center has resulted from financial pressure stemming not only from the temporary closure of the centre, but also from operational restrictions such as social distancing measures that reduce venue capacity.

The employers’ association has released these figures after conducting a survey of facility operators in the UK representing more than 1,800 local residents. In this survey, operators indicated that 39% of their facilities were at risk of being permanently closed. In January UKactive estimates that gyms will stop making £90m (99.5 million euros) weekly for pigtails.

The entity considers the support it has received from the Government, such as public funds, a moratorium on evictions due to non-payment of rent and the licensing plan, is insufficient, thus asking for special budgeted assistance. On the other hand, request a reduction of VAT to 5% and a broader public recreation recovery fund covering all periods of closure.

Besides that, Ukactive estimates that the loss of the facility will jeopardize annual public savings of £450 million (522 million euros) since fitness avoided an additional 30 million medical visits, as it helped prevent 900,000 cases of diabetes and 1.5 million cases of back pain.

“It is critical for the sector to address financial uncertainty, as facilities cannot be planned to reopen until April 12, the Government should put the nation’s health at the center of its budget, as that will require the fitness and recreation sector. during recovery from this crisis”, said Huw Edwards, CEO of UKactive.

Matt Thompson

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