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Coronavirus: Gyms

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 133726, tabled on 6 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the closure of gyms in areas under tier 4 covid-19 restrictions on the (a) mental health and b) physical wellbeing of people who regularly use gyms to exercise.

Answered on

12 January 2021

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has listened carefully to the views of the scientific community, the information from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and its sub-groups when making decisions on the best way to tackle the pandemic. The SAGE has provided expert strategic scientific advice to Government throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, and this can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies

The Government is committed to publishing data that has informed its decision making, including the tiers framework and allocations, which can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-health-economic-and-social-effects-of-covid-19-and-the-tiered-approach

Evidence is clear that action is needed on a national scale to suppress the spread of the virus. We have introduced national restrictions to reduce social contact across England. It is therefore necessary for sports facilities, such as golf courses, to close. Whilst these facilities are closed, it remains important for wellbeing to be able to exercise and enjoy outdoor recreation safely, and that is why individuals can continue to do this in public outdoor places under the new restrictions. However, people are advised to remain as local as possible, to act responsibly, and limit transmission risk wherever possible, including by ensuring social distancing with anyone they do not live with. Health is a devolved issue and so each nation is able to make decisions as they see fit.

We understand these rules are difficult for everyone, but reducing social contact is paramount to protecting the National Health Service and saving lives. The Government will keep this under constant review and has published guidance on mental health and wellbeing and this is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19#what-can-help-your-mental-health-and-wellbeing

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care