A Northumberland gym owner says he is let down that pubs and restaurants can reopen before him

Lionheart Fitness, Bedlington Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

There are calls for gyms and leisure centres in our region to re-open quickly and anger that pubs and restaurants are able to resume before them.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a major easing of the coronavirus lockdown last week.

Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers are able to reopen from 4 July but indoor leisure centres and gyms were not included in the list. 

Ivan Hart runs Lionhart Fitness in Bedlington, a gym which he set up eighteen months ago. Last week he started to run small socially distanced bootcamps outside his premises but says he feels let down that indoor gyms were not given the go ahead. 

Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson who lives on Teesside  has written to Boris Johnson warning that public health may be harmed for a generation if leisure facilities continue to stay closed following the coronavirus pandemic.

In her role as chair of the leisure industry body Ukactive she says her disappointment and frustration is shared by millions across the country who own, work at, and use these community assets. 

The government says it has aspirations to re-open gyms and leisure centres from mid-July.

We are continuing to work with representatives from the gym and leisure centre sectors on plans for a safe, phased reopening with the ambition for this to happen from mid-July, subject to public health guidance. We need to make sure that plans are comprehensive with all risks minimised. We are fully committed to making sure the public can exercise and stay healthy, as outlined in our guidance for outdoor exercise.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport