Posted: Thu 30th Jul 2020

First Minister Mark Drakeford ‘very keen’ to allow gyms to re-open in Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

The latest easing of lockdown measures in Wales will be announced on Friday.

Welsh Ministers will meet today to discuss the next steps to ease the lockdown measures which were introduced in March to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

The review of restrictions takes place every 21 days as part of the lockdown legislation introduction at the start of the pandemic.

During the last review, the first minister outlined plans for the indoor opening for pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants from 3rd August – subject to conditions and the number of coronavirus cases.

He is expected to give the green light tomorrow for those businesses to reopen.

There could also be good news for gym operators in Wales who have been desperate for a date to reopen.

Gyms have been closed since the start of lockdown in March, in England they reopened on July 25th.

Speaking to Capital South Wales radio on Thursday the first minister said he was ‘very keen’ to see the sector reopen.

He said: “For lots of people going to the gym, having that bit of fitness is a really important part of their lives.

We are very keen to be able to allow that sector to reopen.”

“We know that coronavirus thrives in noisy places where people are expelling air, where it’s hot and it’s sweaty and all of that.

“We’ve been working hard with the gym sector over the last couple of weeks. I’ll be making announcements on Friday.”

Shadow Minister for Covid-19 Recovery, Darren Millar MS, has called for the Welsh Government to ease lockdown further.

Mr Millar’s party has issued a new list of seven changes they would like to see announced tomorrow:

  • Relax the two-metre social distancing rule (with mitigating measures)
  • Make face coverings in shops mandatory
  • Permit people to meet in larger groups of up to five households outdoors
  • Extend social bubbles to allow people to meet more loved ones indoors (up to three households at a time and including overnight stays)
  • Re-open theatres and bingo halls
  • Re-open indoor gyms, leisure centres, swimming pools, and equestrian centres
  • Allow indoor weddings and receptions at more venues

Commenting, Darren Millar MS, said: “The people of Wales are enduring the toughest coronavirus restrictions in the UK and it is high time that their hard work in preventing the spread of the virus was rewarded.”

“I urge the Welsh Labour-led Government to carefully consider all of the items on our list to restore more freedoms for people in Wales to meet and spend time with their loved ones, have more fun, get fit and get wed. Our plans will also help more businesses and activities to become more viable.”

“These freedoms have or are being safely restored in other parts of the UK and people in Wales should be able to enjoy them too. We need to continue to re-open our society and economy while protecting lives and livelihoods.”

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