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Councillor's disappointment over indoor gyms and leisure centre closure legislation

Article date - 14 October 2020

St Helens Borough Council’s portfolio holder for leisure has expressed his disappointment at government legislation which has seen indoor gyms and leisure centres closed as part of tier 3 measures to control the spread of coronavirus in the Liverpool City Region.
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From today (Wednesday 14 October) all Go Active indoor leisure facilities including gyms and leisure centres have been closed until further notice, with exercise classes and organised sport still permitted outdoors.  
 
In line with the new measures, the council's outdoor sports facilities will remain open for use however spectators will not be allowed to attend adult matches or training sessions, while junior activity has been limited to one parent or guardian per child. 
 
Go Active customers will also be able to access a comprehensive programme of more than 100 free classes a week, delivered by instructors and the freestyle fitness team. 
 
Commenting on the new legislation, Councillor Anthony Burns, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Leisure, Libraries and Heritage, said: " It is disappointing to be forced to close our facilities as I recognise the positive impact exercise has on not only individual's physical health but their mental wellbeing, too. 
 
“We have done everything possible to ensure customers and staff remain safe – rearranging equipment to ensure social distancing and sanitising equipment and surfaces regularly which had led to nothing but positive feedback from those who have visited our facilities, and we have had no outbreaks in any of our centres.

“As this is now legislation, there is nothing that the council can do to reverse government’s decision but I’d like to thank customers for their support and co-operation over the past weeks and assure them we look forward to welcoming them to our centres hopefully in the not too distant future.   
 
“In the meantime, I would encourage people who are unable to attend their regular gym class or training sessions to take advantage of the free classes that Go Active will be running while centres are closed." 
 
Further details on the free fitness classes can be found on the Go Active website and Facebook page.
  
Customers who pay via direct debit can be assured that the council has already frozen all direct debit membership payments and will keep customers informed regarding the date for re-opening and the recommencement of payments.