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Coronavirus: UEA Sportspark in Norwich closes, gyms step up cleaning

PUBLISHED: 12:53 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:10 17 March 2020

Norfolk Sportshall Athletics County Championship, UEA Sportspark. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norfolk Sportshall Athletics County Championship, UEA Sportspark. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

The UEA Sportspark has taken the ‘difficult decision’ to close because of coronavirus.

In a statement Phil Steele, director of sport and commercial services, said: “Following the Prime Minister’s plea to avoid office, pubs and non-essential travel we have determined that our best course of action is to close our facilities until at least Friday, April 3 in order to support the UK’s objective of stopping the virus. This is in line with the approach of other sports organisations.

“We will review this decision as the situation progresses and will provide further information as it becomes available. We will be contacting our fee paying members in the next seven days.

“UEA nursery is currently open and we will follow the government’s guidance to schools. If this changes we will update our customers as soon as we are able.

“As you will realise this has been a difficult decision and there will be many questions following this news, please bear with us and we will try and respond as quickly as we can.”

Elsewhere gym brands have contacted their members about measures they intend to take regarding coronavirus in line with the advice given by the Government and Public Health England (PHE).

PureGym, which has three branches in Norwich, has waived its usual membership “freezing” fee for one month following customer concerns.

“We understand that some members are concerned about safety in the gym,” it said.

“Your health and safety is our number one priority and so we have waived the usual fee to freeze a membership for all current members for one month during the outbreak of the coronavirus.”

The Gym Group, whose branches include Hall Road in Norwich and the Gateway Retail Park in Lowestoft, said it would continue its “robust cleaning schedule” and would increase the frequency of cleaning operations.

In an email to members, it said: “Our gyms remain open and we’ve made some changes to our cleaning routines to ensure your workout session is as safe as possible.

“We continue to maintain our robust cleaning and sanitation schedule across all our gym facilities and equipment, with a particular focus on PIN pads, door handles, lockers, vending machines and high-use gym equipment.

“We will provide extra cleaning equipment on gym floors to enable you to clean equipment after your workout.

“We have also increased the frequency of checks to the hand wash facilities and will ensure that we have plenty of soap available, with checks taking place every 30 minutes.”

A spokesman for the Gym Group said it is a “fluid time for everyone involved, including corporates” but added that the company would continue to follow the advice of PHE.

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