Will gyms remain open if there is another lockdown in the New Year?

While the government has announced there will be no further restrictions introduced for England, concerns remain about possible closures in the new year – here’s what we know about how it could affect gym goers

Gym goers are fearing possible restrictions may see their options for excise limited
Gym goers are fearing possible restrictions may see their options for excise limited

Things are rather up in the air these days with fears of lockdowns, circuit breakers and rules of six circling in the minds of much of the nation.

Daily cases are reaching eye-watering new heights. Yesterday over 180,000 new cases were reported, a new record that smashed its predecessor by over 50,000.

Understandably, people are becoming concerned about how rising cases and possible restrictions may impact their day to day lives.

Exercise became a crucial part of many people’s routines during the previous lockdowns, as they looked for outlets to the often sedentary experience of having to remain at home.

Mass mask-wearing has returned following the rise of the Omicron variant.



However when leisure centres and gyms reopened many flocked back, keen to reignite exercise regimes that had suffered due to the restrictions.

Now there are concerns this could once again be under threat. Earlier this week Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that no new restrictions would be brought in in England before the new year, however, the situation could change in 2022.

The Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We won’t be taking any further measures. Of course, people should remain cautious as we approach new year celebrations and take a lateral flow test if that makes sense, celebrate outdoors if you can, have some ventilation indoors if you can”.

Read on for information on everything we know so far about whether gyms will remain open.

Will gyms close in another lockdown?

Work from home guidance has already seen many public places in England become far quieter



There is no clear answer yet whether gyms would need to close in the new year. It also remains unclear whether they would be given special treatment and be allowed to stay open in the event of another lockdown, although no indication this would be the case has emerged.

In previous lockdowns, gyms have been forced to close and so it is fair to assume this would also be the case in the event of another full closure of businesses.

However, lesser restrictions like rules of six may mean that gyms can stay open providing they adjust the way operate to follow the guidelines of the time.

While no new restrictions have been bought in for England, restrictions affecting gyms have already been introduced for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

At the time of writing England remains in plan B, which means that gyms can stay open. The government website says: “Settings which are exempt from wearing a face covering include:

  • Restaurants, cafés and canteens
  • Bars and shisha bars
  • Gyms & exercise facilities
  • Photography studios
  • Nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques”

As of December 27, gyms in Scotland must enforce social distancing rules of one meter.

Meanwhile in Wales regulations mean people must wear face coverings in gyms.

The BBC report that gyms in Wales also have to operate a one-way system in a bid to protect people’s health and to prevent the virus from spreading.

Most gyms will remain open as long as government guidance allows, however, this would have to change if lockdown restrictions prohibited indoor leisure centres from opening.

In the meantime, most gyms have introduced their own measures and practices to reassure customers they are doing all they can to keep them safe.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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