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15 Sep 2022

Who’s open and closed during Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral?
BY Frances Marcellin

Her Majesty the Queen pictured at Piccadilly Circus just after the announcement of her death

Her Majesty the Queen pictured at Piccadilly Circus just after the announcement of her death
photo: Alexey Fedorenko/Shutterstock

With an additional bank holiday announced in the UK out of respect for Queen Elizabeth II and to observe the state funeral on Monday 19 September, business owners are making decisions about whether to close, modify opening times or stay open to serve the public’s needs.

In the fitness industry, the action that studios, gym operators and leisure centres will be taking varies across the sector. Some are staying shut all day, others have modified times or a closure window, so that staff can observe the funeral, but others will remain open.

UK Active, which represents around 4,000 organisations in the industry, gyms, leisure centres and sports bodies, confirmed that reactions from members have been mixed in response to the bank holiday’s proceedings.

“Monday is going to be a sombre day but it will also be a day to reflect on the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” said Huw Edwards, CEO of UK Active. “Marking Her Majesty’s funeral is a very personal matter and each of our members will be making plans that suits their customers, their staff, and their local communities best.”

In the National Mourning Guidance, a guide for public and businesses during this unprecedented period, the government states that there is “no obligation on organisations to suspend business” and “no obligation to cancel or postpone events and sporting fixtures”. For pre-organised events it suggests that organisations may wish to “adjust event timings so they do not clash with the timings of the funeral”.

Some of the operators closing in the UK are Everyone Active, all Third Space clubs, Bannatyne's, Total Fitness and all not-for-profit GLL’s clubs and facilities, which trade under the name Better.

Mark Sesnan, CEO of GLL said: “It has been announced that the state funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II will take place on Monday 19 September. As a mark of respect, and in conjunction with our council partners, all the 300 plus leisure centres, gyms, libraries, venues and spas we operate will be closed on that day. Normal service will resume on Tuesday 20 September.”

Virgin Active is running a hybrid strategy with central London clubs closing, but, outside the city, opening hours have been changed to 2pm to 8pm, so staff and general public can observe the funeral. F45’s studio decisions are being made at the discretion of each studio manager. For example, Oxford Circus, Soho and High St Kensington clubs will be closed, but others may be opening.

Pure Gym has announced a temporary closure over the funeral period. “Our gyms will be closed between 10am and 2pm on Monday 19 September so that our colleagues can pay their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II,” read its notice on Twitter. “Opening hours will return to normal from Tuesday 20 September.”

Instead of the standard opening times of 6.30am to 4pm, Gold’s Gym will open from 8am to 4pm. All JD Gyms will be “temporarily closed between 10am to 2pm” and Nuffield Health has also confirmed modified hours, operating from 3pm to 8pm so staff and members can observe the funeral.

The Gym Group, which has 217 clubs across the UK, will close all clubs between 10am and 2pm “to allow time for all those who wish to pay their respects and commemorate the Queen’s reign during the state funeral”.

Fitness First will close some of its central London clubs. Those that stay open will operate between 8am and 4pm and respect the two-minute silence that concludes the state funeral service at 11.55am.

Anytime Fitness has advised franchisees to follow government guidance and stated that they can remain open if desired. The company confirmed that plans vary by location, but clubs can operate unmanned if necessary, allowing staff to pay their respects while still allowing members to access the club.

The state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II will be held at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19 September at 11am.

Are you opening or closing on Monday? We’re interested to hear about your plans. Email us here




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