The pandemic had led to a lockdown in many parts of the world. It had hit all fitness centers big and small — whether neighborhood gyms, maybe a couple of treadmills and a cross trainer or two or nationwide chains like Gold Gym and Cult-fit that have at least 20 centers in one city alone.
Gyms were closed for four months earlier this year from March 23 to July 25. But as the second wave of Corona Virus is about to hit, England has begun a second national lockdown after weeks of regional restrictions failed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Whether gyms would be closed this time was initially unclear in Boris Johnson’s statement announcing the lockdown on October 31 but recently, he confirmed that gyms would have to close. Because of the Prime Minister’s ‘stay at home’ order, people in England can only leave their houses for specific reasons, including education and work. People can also leave their homes for outdoor exercise independently.
When MPs were voting on Boris Johnson’s second lockdown rules yesterday, some protesters were led by England’s Rugby Star and an advocate of Health and Fitness, James Haskell. They had driven an orange military-style tank on Parliament Square to demand gyms stay open during the lockdown as owners vow to defy COVID curbs despite the risk of a £10,000 fine.
Some people thought the tank demonstration was hilarious while the others commented that the security was ‘slack.’ Many people specified that it was a ‘self-propelled gun’ instead of a tank.
In an exclusive interview, James said:
“Turning up at the Houses of Parliament ended up looking a bit dodgy, and the police pulled us over. They said I posed a terrorist threat. I did point out that a bright orange tank would be the worst terrorist to a man, but there you go. They gave us a police escort in the end, and it was all fine.”
James also explained: “I know they’ve got a job to do, but gyms are one of the safest places to be at the minute. Everyone is sanitizing their machines and taking it seriously. Plus, if people are physically fitter, they’re more likely to beat the virus. Closing gyms affects mental health too, and there could be an increase in suicides.”
Records for the end of October show gyms were the sixth most visited place for Test and Trace contact exercises, falling below supermarkets, pubs and restaurants, and schools. There were a reported 22 million visits to gyms after they reopened in July. Similarly, over 500,000 people have signed a petition started by Anissa, California, who runs California Fitness with her husband, to keep gyms open over lockdown.
She had previously told Metro online: ‘Everything we do is around health, so why other health services remain open, and we aren’t, is a little confusing.
Contrary to this, some people think it’s better to close gyms and practice health at home.
It seems that the vote will not be in favor of fitness lovers as Boris Johnson has promised the lockdown will end on December 2. Still, other senior ministers have hinted it may extend if it does not succeed in sufficiently reducing infection rates. Above all, the idea of driving a tank remains on the top showing people’s extreme love for the health and fitness centres!