Physical activity plan needed for latest lockdown

ukactive has called for a physical activity plan and improved financial protection for the leisure and fitness sector as new lockdowns threaten physical and mental well-being.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said in response to the new national lockdown announcement on 4 January that credible plans are required to minimise the damaging impact lockdown has on the physical and mental well-being of people across the UK.

He warned that, despite positive encouragement from the government, physical activity levels fell sharply and significantly during previous lockdowns. Millions of people that depend on gyms, pools, and leisure centres to support their physical and mental health and ukactive stresses that the government must explore all options and provide a credible plan for maintaining this support to millions of people who rely on these Covid-secure facilities to stay strong and healthy.

Edwards said: “Operators of all sizes across the UK are sounding the alarm that their businesses are unsustainable and facing substantial job losses if they are forced to close again without a comprehensive package of tailored financial and regulatory support. Therefore, they must be prioritised and protected or we risk widespread business failure that will have major health impacts for a generation.

“We remain fully committed to work with the UK governments on solutions to help people stay active during the depths of winter – in particular, groups who rely on indoor facilities for safe and supported exercise, such as people from lower-income groups, women, and patients undergoing rehabilitation from long-term health conditions. We have found solutions working with the governments at every stage of this crisis, and must do so again now.”