Sport, parks and leisure - Chaos: Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland must unify to support gym reopening process, says Huw Edwards...
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04 Jun 2020

Chaos: Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland must unify to support gym reopening process, says Huw Edwards
BY Tom Walker

ukactive says the home nations' differing approaches could lead to confusion among operators with facilities in more than one of the countries

ukactive says the home nations' differing approaches could lead to confusion among operators with facilities in more than one of the countries
photo: Shutterstock/Ranta Images

The varying approaches taken by the UK's four home nations to reopening businesses is creating confusion among fitness operators who are running facilities in more than one country.

Concerns have been raised by Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, who is calling for increased collaboration between governments in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England to support the safe reopening of the sector.

“While there's been consistency during this crisis, this has diverged in recent weeks, with different advice being given in different parts of the UK," said Edwards. "This creates uncertainty for our sector at a difficult time when it most needs support.

“We've seen differing approaches to things such as the Moratorium of Forfeiture for Rents – something that can be confusing for ukactive members who are operating across multiple countries in the UK.

“Gyms and leisure facilities need clarity and support to reopen safely using the sector’s framework for reopening," said Edwards, "however, our extensive negotiations with the English government have not been matched elsewhere.

“We've written to the leaders of the Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Ireland governments, highlighting the imminent risk of them losing facilities forever if urgent action is not taken.

“This crisis represents an opportunity for devolved governments to put physical and mental wellbeing at the heart of policy, to better serve the long-term health and wellbeing of the UK," he explained.

“With Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, as well as the UK Government, having published their roadmaps out of lockdown, the physical activity sector is eager to work closely with officials and ministers in all four nations to ensure the importance of the sector is recognised as we seek to reopen."



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