Can gyms open in Tier 3?

GYMS in England are gearing up to reopen after the second lockdown lifts on December 2.

Boris Johnson says we have again “turned the corner” in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus.

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Gyms can now stay open in tier 3 lockdown areas


Gyms can now stay open in tier 3 lockdown areasCredit: AFP or licensors

Can gyms open in Tier 3?

Gyms, pools, and leisure facilities can open under Tier 3 restrictions.

England’s tiered system of regional Covid restrictions will be toughened up when a national lockdown ends on December 2.

Some areas will move into a higher alert level than the one they were in before the second lockdown, the PM has warned

Tier 3 is the toughest set of restrictions and will be applied to “very high” risk areas.

This category will mean bars, cafes and restaurants must remain shut except for takeaway services, and that households cannot mix except in public places outdoors.

Gym classes and studios have to follow strict social distancing guidelines


Gym classes and studios have to follow strict social distancing guidelinesCredit: AFP or licensors

What will the new rules be?

Tier 3 – Very High Alert – means:

  • All shops can stay open
  • You can meet with others in public outdoor places, such as beaches or parks, but only in groups of up to six people
  • Areas should only be at this level for 28 days then a review should take place
  • You should maintain social distancing from anyone not in your household or support bubble
  • People can’t stay overnight somewhere outside of their local area unless needed for work, education or similar
  • Accommodation will be closed in these areas except for specific reasons
  • You should work from home where possible
  • Businesses such as hair, beauty and nail salons can stay open
  • People are advised against travelling out of their area
  • You should still wear a face covering
  • Public buildings such as libraries can open
  • Up to 15 people can attend a wedding ceremony or civil partnership
  • Up to 30 people can attend someone’s funeral and up to 15 people can attend someone’s wake
  • Gyms, pools, and leisure facilities can open


What are the coronavirus measures in place for gyms?

As per coronavirus-safe guidance from industry association, UK Active, gyms have taken measures such as:

  • Reduced capacity in gyms, while increasing space between equipment to 2m, as well as adding a one-way system.
  • Provided additional gym space, with individual workout areas of 3m x 3m.
  • Limited bookings for group exercise classes to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • Reduced the number of swimmers in pools – where people swim at 5m intervals.
  • Fewer members are allowed in certain areas at any one time to ensure everyone can practice social distancing.
  • Plastic screens introduced to reception desks to protect members and staff.
  • Signage and clear floor markings help members to remain a safe distance apart, with staff available to provide support.

UK Active also advises:

  • Rigorous cleaning and disinfection procedures to minimise risk of contact transmission.
  • Hand wipes/sanitisers on offer at reception.
  • Customers should come swim or gym ready, to avoid using showers.
  • Users should not be working out face-to-face

What happens to my gym membership if they do close again?

If gyms are forced to close again, you will have to contact your gym to find out their policy on memberships.

During lockdown, many gym companies froze all membership payments for the duration, including The Gym Group, Pure Gym, DW Fitness First, Virgin Active, Nuffield Health and David Lloyd.

Gym fees already paid will be either refunded by most gyms or added to accounts as a credit.

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