Calls for government to reconsider closure of gyms to avoid mental health crisis

It's no secret that exercise is good for our physical health, but the benefits for our mental wellbeing have been brought to the forefront during lockdown. 

It has been a cause for frustration for gym owners. Their businesses and exercise classes have been ordered to close, despite operating in a Covid secure way.

Dan Graham, from Strength Shack in Carlisle, told ITV Border: "I don't think we can get much stricter, we have followed the guidelines to the letter.

"We've had no cases at all and since reopening on top of our normal month spend we've spent an extra £3,000 just on cleaning equipment.

"We've got our track and trace implemented, I can give you more information about who has been in this building."

John Stevenson MP Credit: ITV

Carlisle MP John Stevenson is calling on the government to reconsider the measures for the sake of people's mental health. He said: "I fully accept that the government wants to put pressure on the R number and get the disease down and under control but we also have to recognise that people's mental and physical health are key issues as well."

The government says it understands the importance of exercise for mental wellbeing and reiterated that outdoor workouts with your household or one person out of your household is allowed under lockdown measures.

Gym Credit: ITV

In a statement, the Government also added that financial support is available for businesses forced to close.

A spokesperson said: "Gyms must currently close to limit the spread of the virus, however a wide-ranging package of financial support is available for businesses forced to close in England.

"This includes grants worth up to £3,000 per month and the extended furlough scheme to support employers to pay their staff."