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ukactive has issued the following statement in response to the Prime Minister’s announcement today (12 October) on plans for a new three-tier system in England

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “We are committed to working with both the Government and local authority leaders across England to ensure this new three tier system supports our members to continue operating and improving the health of the nation, in the sector’s role as an essential service.

“The national guidance allowing gyms and leisure centres to reopen in July was co-developed and agreed by the lead health representatives in the country, including the Chief Medical Officer’s team, SAGE, PHE, and the Government.

“This guidance has required the sector to deliver the highest levels of safety, across ventilation, sanitisation, social distancing, and member engagement.

“Two months on from reopening, the sector has met this challenge and is delivering safe and secure gyms and leisure centres, for both customers and workforce, showing an extremely low prevalence of COVID-19 in facilities.

“The Government must now commit to working with ukactive and its members as the virus is managed on a devolved and local level, building a structure of consultation and cooperation that delivers local solutions.

“We must avoid what has been announced today in Liverpool, which has seen the unnecessary closure of gyms and leisure centres.

“This decision runs counter to all the evidence provided, threatens permanent closure of facilities and job losses, and will ultimately worsen health inequalities in the region.

“We will work with immediate effect with Liverpool City Council to review this decision, with the aim of overturning it.”