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Will gyms close again? How Boris Johnson’s announcement affects fitness centres in the UK

Gyms were reopened on 25 July to the delight of fitness fans across England, but a surge in new coronavirus cases means this could change.

In response to the spike in infection rates, Boris Johnson has introduced a series of new restrictions in highly affected areas.

This afternoon, the Prime Minster addressed the House of Commons on new measures aimed at curbing the coronavirus.

In high risk or tier three areas, gyms are likely to close, but more detail specific to particular regions is expected to follow later.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Will gyms close again?

A member of staff measures the temperature of a visitor before entering the gym at Nuffield Health Sunbury Fitness and Wellbeing Gym (Photo: AFP)

In “very high” or tier three regions, gyms may well close.

New measures announced for Liverpool, which will take effect from Wednesday, will see further restrictions on the “hospitality, leisure, entertainment and personal care [such as hair salons and barbers] sector”, said Mr Johnson.

The Prime Minister said discussions with local leaders in high infection areas, such as the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber, were “ongoing”, but urged them to “work with us on these difficult but necessary measures”.

What rules are in place in gyms?

A fitness instructor cleans down gym machines at the North Tyneside Council Waves Gym and Swimming Centre in Whitley Bay North Tyneside (Photo: PA)

Gyms are required to comply with strict social distancing guidelines.

Restrictions include a limit on the number of people using the facility at any one time, reduced class sizes, timed booking systems, enhanced cleaning procedures, the spacing out of equipment and ensuring adequate ventilation.

Users are also asked to change and shower at home, rather than in the gym.

Some gyms are also measuring the temperature of visitors before entry.

In Scotland, indoor group exercise activities are currently prohibited, although gyms remain open for individual exercise.

Do I need to wear a face mask in the gym?

A man wearing a face mask exercises at a fitness centre in Mexico City (Photo: Reuters)

Current Government guidance states that face masks are not mandatory in gyms, although individual establishments may enforce their own rules.

The World Health Organisation does not recommend that people wear face masks while exercising as this may affect a person’s ability to breathe comfortable.

“Sweat can make the mask become wet more quickly which makes it difficult to breathe and promotes the growth of microorganisms,” it states.

“The important preventive measure during exercise is to maintain physical distance of at least one metre from others.”

What is the industry saying?

UK Active, a not-for-profit collective of members across the UK physical activity and fitness sector, has called on the Government to categorise gyms as essential services.

Huw Edwards, UK Active’s chief executive, said: “We are calling for

UK PM Johnson’s Battle With COVID-19 May Be a Warning for Trump | World News

By Guy Faulconbridge, Elizabeth Piper and Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) – When Boris Johnson caught COVID-19 in March, the overweight British prime minister tried to work through the illness “in denial” – but ended up wearing an oxygen mask in an intensive care unit and was ultimately out of action for almost a month.

He later said he had fought for his life as the state prepared for the unthinkable: the possible death in office of a prime minister.

Johnson’s experience of trying to stay in charge while struggling with the disease may offer clues about the potential dangers ahead for U.S. President Donald Trump, now that he has tested positive.

After being accused of initially failing to appreciate the gravity of coronavirus crisis for Britain, Johnson, then 55, felt mild symptoms on March 26 while answering questions in the House of Commons chamber.

A few hours later, he received a positive test result, and the next day he made a video statement in which he said he was self-isolating, but would continue to work and lead Britain’s coronavirus response.

But during the next nine days, as he worked in isolation in an apartment above his official Downing Street residence and office, his condition deteriorated, with persistent symptoms including a high temperature.

Later, he said he had been in denial and continued to work despite feeling groggy and “pretty rough”, until doctors told him firmly to go to hospital.

Being a national leader has offered little protection against the new coronavirus.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro spent weeks in quarantine after testing positive in July 7, and said he had taken antibiotics for an infection that left him feeling weak.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez needed hospital treatment, and former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi developed double pneumonia and spent 10 days in hospital, being treated with the antiviral drug Remdesivir.

The 84-year-old was allowed home on Sept. 14 saying he had survived “the most dangerous challenge” of his life, and has made no public appearances since.

Johnson’s sudden deterioration after continuing to work may hold a warning for the 74-year-old Trump, now in full campaigning mode for the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 3.

Johnson was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital in the evening of April 5. The next day he was moved to intensive care, where he received oxygen support but was not put on a ventilator.

“The bad moment came when it was 50-50 whether they were going to have to put a tube down my windpipe,” Johnson said later.

“The doctors had all sorts of arrangements for what to do if things went badly wrong … The bloody indicators kept going in the wrong direction.”

He later said he owed those doctors his life.

While Johnson was ill, his duties were assumed by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

“They had a strategy to deal with a ‘death of Stalin’-type scenario,” Johnson later said. “It was a tough old moment, I won’t deny it.”

Johnson left hospital on April