ukactive has issued the following statement in response to the publication of the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy today (11 May)
Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “The Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy in its current form regrettably does not provide the clarity we are seeking – omitting both a clear window for reopening our facilities and the guarantee of continued financial support essential for the viability of the sector.
“We question, in good faith, the categorisation of our sector as higher risk in comparison to other sectors which are listed earlier for reopening.
“In order to secure both clarity and answers to the questions posed, we will scale up our constructive engagement with the Government and, over the coming days, discuss in detail the framework we have developed for the reopening of gyms, leisure centres and the wider ﬁtness industry during social distancing.
“Our recommended framework for reopening provides a comprehensive picture of how our sector can reopen safely, setting out how social distancing would be observed in our gyms, studios, and leisure centres.
“We will provide the Government with complete transparency of our sector’s position and the measures we seek to adopt to ensure the safety of our customers and workforce.
“This will help to ensure clarity on any outstanding questions the Government has around the safe environment we can provide.
“We are reassured that the Government will look to learn from international markets, where we are already seeing the reopening of the sector over the next month, including in Switzerland, Italy and Australia.
“There is no doubt that this country needs our sector. The fight against, and recovery from, COVID-19 cannot be secured without the physical and mental benefits our sector provides, and our members have for many years driven physical activity levels across the UK.
“We will now look to work with the Government to not only address the questions they have, but also show that we are a solution to a number of significant challenges that COVID-19 has created.”
Read the response from ukactive sector partners, the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity, here