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Closure of gyms in Bradford due to covid-19

Volume 683: debated on Monday 2 November 2020

The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that the continued closure of gyms and fitness facilities in Bradford only is having a grave impact on a vast number of businesses and members, creating a desperate situation with consequences beyond what is being appreciated by those in power; notes that businesses in Bradford that are currently closed have received no additional support during the extra four weeks and are closed at their own cost; further declares that, after over four months of closure, any recovery from these closures becomes more unlikely by the day; further notes that gym members are being forced to travel into neighbouring districts causing a counter intuitive effect in social mixing, and in turn increasing the transmission risk; further declares that Bradford is currently facing an obesity, diabetes and mental health crisis which these facilities are at the forefront of fighting; and further declares that the nature of these closures was based on now out-of-date advice, and not on more recent data that is available and shows that the measures gyms are putting in place greatly mitigate any risk to almost zero.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to allow gyms to reopen in the Bradford district according to covid-secure guidelines.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Judith Cummins , Official Report, 2 September 2020; Vol. 679, c. 254 .]

[P002593]

Observations from The Minister for Care (Helen Whately):

The Government are aware of the impact of closing facilities such as gyms, and the benefits that their use can have on members of the community that use them. The measures to close gyms were not taken lightly or without due consideration. The threat to life in the onward transmission of the covid-19 virus to persons who in turn transmit to others through the use of such facilities outweighed the risks associated with the closures. Following a review of the facts and information available surrounding the known infection rates within Bradford, an area experiencing high incidence within the local community, the action to close gyms as a non-pharmaceutical intervention was reasonable and proportionate for the benefit of the community as whole. It should be noted that following a number of regulatory changes, gyms in Bradford are now allowed to open in a covid-secure manner.