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ukactive has issued the following response to the announcement from the Government today (19 December) that fitness and leisure facilities will be forced to close in new Tier 4

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “This is a desperately tough announcement by the Prime Minister on the challenges we face combatting COVID-19, impacting millions of people as we approach Christmas.

“The creation of a new Tier 4 in England will also impact thousands of gyms, pools and leisure centres that have now been asked to close their facilities over the next few hours in London and the South East of England, sparking further uncertainty for their future and the people they employ.

“We acknowledge the 30 December review date for these restrictions and it is essential they are lifted for our sector at that point.

“Gyms, pools, and leisure facilities have consistently proven the extremely low prevalence of COVID-19 among people who have visited these facilities, meeting the challenge of some of the highest standards of any sector.

“Furthermore, the start of each year is a crucial period for gyms, pools, and leisure centres, where demand is at its highest as people look to improve their health and wellbeing. Failure to be open during this period, given the long periods of closure in 2020 and lack of bespoke sectoral support, would be devastating.

“We will work with the Government in the period up to Christmas and prior to the 30 December review date to ensure we are able to reopen from the start of the New Year.”