‘A lifeline’ - gym owner slams government stance following closure
PUBLISHED: 06:52 06 November 2020 | UPDATED: 06:52 06 November 2020
A gym owner has blasted the government for not classing gyms as “essential” during England’s second national lockdown.
Peter Dive, who runs Full Fitness Gym (FFG) in Watton, says fitness centres are crucial for physical and mental health - and should therefore be permitted to continue operating.
In line with regulations designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Norwich Road facility closed on Wednesday (November 4) and will not reopen until December 3.
Mr Dive was vocal on social media throughout the first lockdown about the importance of gyms, highlighting the need to stay fit and healthy to combat deadly diseases.
And, having spent in excess of £15,000 to ensure his business was Covid-secure, he is intent once more that the rules must be reconsidered.
“I think it’s crazy to be shutting gyms and fitness centres,” said Mr Dive. “For me, in terms of my set-up, it is completely unreasonable and ridiculous.
“The rate of infection is still pretty low and I’ve only come across one case of someone getting Covid in a gym.
“Every single piece of government advice is to exercise. Boris Johnson himself had Covid and then got himself a personal trainer.”
Staff at FFG spent lockdown installing plastic screens in between equipment, spacing apparatus further apart and ensuring hand sanitiser was widely accessible.
Mr Dive also invested in two “airport-standard” thermal cameras and a mist machine used to regularly disinfect the premises.
“We are the only gym I know of with all these measures,” he added. “I’ve walked round other gyms and all they’ve got is some stickers on the floor.
“This should be treated on the basis of ‘you can open, but if you break the rules you have to shut’. If gyms have not gone above and beyond, they should close.”
And the 35-year-old believes the health benefits of keeping open gyms are immeasurable.
“Going to a gym to exercise should not be see as a luxury,” said Mr Dive. “Going to the pub for a drink or meal - that is a luxury.
“Some people go to work, come to the gym, have dinner and that’s it. Yes, coming to the gym is for leisure, but I’d say for 15-20pc it is a lifeline.”
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