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ukactive has issued the following response to the announcement from the Welsh Government that fitness and leisure facilities will be closed under Tier 4 from 24 December

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “We understand the difficult decisions facing the Welsh Government as COVID-19 rates increase, however, we are disappointed that fitness and leisure facilities will be closed under Tier 4 restrictions.

“We are in dialogue with the Welsh Government to understand and address this decision, so that gyms and leisure facilities are categorised as an essential service and able to reopen again as soon as possible.

“The winter months and New Year represent a vital time for the fitness and leisure sector to trade, both for economic and social reasons, as millions of people from a diverse range of communities look to improve their activity levels for better physical and mental wellbeing.

“Our latest data indicates an extremely low prevalence of Covid-19 in gyms and leisure facilities, showing that the protocols put in place to prevent people with the virus from visiting them are working – alongside the highest standards of cleanliness, social distancing and safety to reduce the risk of transmission.

“In order to support the nation’s health, we urge the Welsh Government to provide tailored financial and regulatory support for the sector’s recovery, including a combination of business rate relief, VAT exemptions, and incentives that not only help to rebuild, but also encourage more people back into physical activity.”