Although the exact details have not yet been announced by the government, it seems likely that gyms are set to be among the businesses that will be allowed to reopen in July in England, with the rest of the UK to follow before too long. If you’ve been itching to get back into the weights room, this is great news – but of course training in the gym is going to be a different experience from what it was before the lockdown.
Even if the 2m social distancing guidelines are reduced to 1m before gyms and other businesses reopen in July, it will clearly be vital to keep your distance from other people when working up a sweat.
In a glimpse into what gym-goers everywhere can expect, PureGym has revealed the major changes that will help to keep ’em separated, with every other cardio machine put out of use and limits placed on overall numbers in the gym.
Furthermore, boxes will be marked out on the floor of the gym to delineate the area you should stick to during your workout where possible.
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Of course, keeping your distance is only part of the solution. The gyms will also have more cleaning stations installed so you can disinfect the equipment before and after you use it, and there will be hand-sanitising stations throughout the gyms. Each night the premises will be deep-cleaned with antiviral disinfectant, and teams will be cleaning all the equipment throughout the gym as well, on top of the cleaning done by the members.
The gyms will have contactless entry using a key fob or a QR code in the PureGym app, which will also show you how many people are in your local gym so you can plan your visit to avoid the busiest times.
These measures will reduce the risks of visiting the gym during the pandemic, though of course if the infection rate in the UK starts to rise again you can expect gyms to be among the first businesses to be shut down again. PureGym will contact its members once it has a reopening date for each of its gyms.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.