After unwavering local support, gyms and leisure centers will be reopening across the Merseyside area from Saturday.
Within 48 hours, the petition received 100,000 signatures which ensured a review of the decision in Parliament.
The petition had upwards of 375,000 signatures, which highlights how vital exercise is and the sheer number of people who rely on access to gyms and leisure centers in everyday life.
Liverpool Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, confirmed the U-turn by the government, after he appealed to bring his city in line with other areas under tier three restrictions, such as Manchester and Sheffield.
Sage advised against the government’s decision to close gyms as it only had a ‘low to medium impact’ on the spread but would ‘risk harming people’s mental and physical health’.
Household names in leisure such as David Lloyd and Puregym were extremely vocal and certainly generated plenty of petition signatures from their online presence.
Humphrey Cobbold, Chief Executive Officer of Puregym, stated ‘we have seen no confirmed cases of transmission of the virus in our facilities in the Liverpool area.’
While David Lloyd questioned the lack of scientific evidence behind the closure, Public Health England data was released that showed ‘gyms are safe with no evidence of Covid-19 transmission’.
After his online plea went viral, Bodytech Fitness owner, Nick Whitcombe, who is a recognised figure after his recent online fame, defied the government’s tougher lockdown rules and refused to close his Moreton based gym.
A petition, which has now been signed more than 400,000 times, was set up to help Mr Whitcombe, while £50,000 in donations has been raised through a GoFundMe page, which will go towards paying any fines.
Looking forward, the city of Liverpool may have been successful in their bout against the government, but it is important the public act responsibily and continue to follow procedures in place at gyms to ensure they remain ‘Covid secure’.
Opening times for gyms around Liverpool:
The Gym 6am
David Llyod Speke 7am
Total Fitness Sefton 8am
JD Gyms 8am