Last month (December 2021), new figures released by ukactive have shown extremely low rates of COVID-19 contraction at gyms and leisure centres. According to the results, of those who visit leisure and gym operators, fewer than one case per 100,000 have contracted the virus since the reopening in April 2021.
As a result of consistent safety measures performed by operators, the UK continues to lead Europe, in the monitoring of gyms, leisure centres, and swimming pools. Since restrictions were eased in April, the ukactive Research Institute has continued to collect and present data from more than 1,500 facilities across the UK.
For the sector, these places exercise as a nominally safe pursuit. As government restrictions have relaxed, increased safety precautions have helped reassure the public and employees that facilities across the country are safe to return to. The results, which are set to feature in a new Europe-wide report, show that whilst the general population contraction rate fluctuated, contraction has remained extremely low in gym and leisure facilities.
As confidence rates have remained high, 2021 has also solidified the importance of exercise for all. The benefits of exercise for resilience, health, wellbeing, and recovery have built support for the sector, evidenced in the Autumn Budget which showed sustained investment in school sport, PE, and sports facilities.
Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said:
“The fitness and leisure sector has gone above and beyond in its dedication to customer and staff safety, with laser-focused attention to high standards of cleanliness, and this is seen once again in the safety data we are publishing today, which shows tens of millions of people using these facilities each week, confident in their safety.
Furthermore, the nation’s gyms, pools, leisure centres, and studios are essential for helping people to recover from the pandemic both mentally and physically, and the Government will require our sector’s support more than ever in the coming months as we look to turn around the decline in our activity levels that worsened as a result of the pandemic.”
To find out more about the report to be published in EuropeActive, see here.