When do gyms reopen? Dates indoor fitness facilities will open across UK - and the rules to expect

The ‘stay at home’ order has now been eased across England, Scotland and Wales, with further restrictions to be relaxed this month

Fitness enthusiasts will soon be able to exercise at gyms for the first time since early January, after almost four months of strict lockdown restrictions.

However, the success of the Covid-19 vaccination rollout so far, which has seen more than 31 million people receive their first dose, has meant some restrictions are now able to be eased.

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Rules on social contact, outdoor sport and the ‘stay at home’ order were eased in England on 29 March, while Scotland’s stay at home advice changed to ‘stay local’ on 2 April.

Are you keen to get back to the gym?

Several restrictions were lifted in Wales on 27 March, while Northern Ireland is due to ease its stay at home guidance from 12 April, with rules to change to a ‘stay local’ message.

But when will gyms reopen across the UK? Here’s what you need to know.

When will gyms reopen?

In England, outdoors sports facilities, including outdoor gyms, tennis courts and golf courses, were allowed to reopen from 29 March.

The rule changes mean that adults and children will be allowed to take part in organised outdoor activities within a group of up to six people, or two households.

Indoor leisure facilities will not reopen until 12 April at the earliest, including gyms, sports courts, swimming pools, dance studios and fitness centres.

From 12 April, people in England should be able to return to gyms “but only for use by individuals or household groups”. Group classes are not expected to resume until 17 May.

In Scotland, gyms are not due to open until 26 April for individual exercise only, alongside non-essential shops, pubs, restaurants and bars.

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford said that the country will have a phased reopening of outdoor hospitality and gyms at the end of April.

Both hospitality and gyms have been closed in Wales since before Christmas, but now the Welsh Government has said it would consider reopening these sectors after 22 April.

However, he warned that the areas up for consideration on 22 April will unlikely all reopen at the same time.

He said: “"Right now we are in the third week of the current three-week cycle and we have brought things in week by week starting with the return of more children to school, the reopening of hairdressers then moving onto non-essential retail and the lifting of the stay local rule in the third week.

"If you do things one at a time it's easier to see that, if the numbers were to rise, what the cause of that was. That is the way we have done it so far and have taken no decisions about the second half of April.

"If advice to us continues to be 'do things separately' then I imagine that is the advice we will continue to follow."

As such, this means that some of the changes in the next phase may not be introduced until the end of the three week cycle on 13 May.

Ministers in Northern Ireland have not yet confirmed any dates for when gyms could reopen, but as of 1 April locals can now exercise outside with people from another household, limited to 10 people from two households.

From 12 April, sports training is expected to resume with affiliated sports clubs, up to a limit of 15 people.

What rules will be in place?

Gym goers will be expected to follow social distancing rules when using the facilities.

It is expected that gym equipment will be spaced two metres apart and should be cleaned after use.

In England, face masks are required to be worn when walking through a gym or leisure centre, in communal areas and changing rooms, but can be removed during exercise.

Similarly, in Scotland and Wales, face coverings must be worn by law within the communal areas of the gym, but can be removed whilst exercising.

You are not required to wear a mask in our gyms in Northern Ireland.

Before visiting your gym, you should check the website on how to book, the guidelines in place and what rules you need to follow inside.

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