A letter to the Prime Minister

Image of members using the gym while social distancing at David Lloyd Clubs

Rt Hon. Boris Johnson MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street

22nd November 2020

Dear Prime Minister,

The pandemic has affected us all this year. Millions of us have suffered in many ways from this terrible virus.

It is affecting our lives and affecting how we feel. We know the answer to keeping on top of our mental health is talking and being active.

In the cold, dark days of winter we need every opportunity to keep active in any way we can. We need exercise to keep us fit and healthy and to support our mental health. Going to the gym is a routine for 11 million Brits; an act of escapism and a guaranteed boost for body and mind. Many people don’t have enough space to exercise at home and benefit from the facilities and friendliness of gyms.

As we come out of this national lockdown, we are calling on you to reopen gyms in every tier in the country to keep exercise accessible.

The data shows gyms are safe places to be – much more than other indoor settings. Aggregated data from a sample of key gym operators from 5 October shows there have been close to 45 million gym visits since the first lockdown in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Just 2.88 cases were found in every 100,000 gym visits in the week commencing 5 October. This is in contrast to the overall UK case rate for the general population in the same week of 150.83 cases per 100,000.

Based on input from SAGE, the CMO and PHE, gyms have implemented and rigorously enforced two metre social distancing and have strict capacity numbers for each individual site, whilst also ensuring a very strong regime of continual cleanliness and ventilation for the safety of staff and members.

As we navigate our way through these difficult days, we need your assurance that you will keep gyms open and make them an essential part of our communities. Over 600,000 members of the public have signed a petition asking you to keep open gyms. We know so many people who are suffering from gym closures. They are desperate for them to reopen and stay open.

Exercise is one of the best tools we have to keep a healthy body and mind.

Yours sincerely,

Col Dame Kelly Holmes MBE, Athletics
Sir Chris Hoy, Cycling
Alan Shearer CBE, Football
Sally Gunnell OBE, Athletics
Chrissie Wellington OBE, Athletics
Tom Lowe, Athletics
Dani Rowe MBE (nee King), Athletics
David Weir CBE, Athletics
Richard Hibbard, Rugby
Lutalo Muhammad, Athletics
James Haskell, Rugby
Gareth Thomas CBE, Rugby
Elinor Barker MBE, Cycling
Katie Archibald MBE, Cycling
Amy Williams MBE ,Athletics
Dan Evans, Tennis
Derwyn Jones, Rugby
Darren Campbell MBE, Athletics
Christian Malcolm, Athletics
Kyle Edmund, Tennis
Ben Challenger, Athletics
Tim Benjamin, Athletics
Steve Parry, Swimming
Matt Kilgallon, Football
Martin Woods, Football
Robbie Blake, Football
Dalton Grant, Athletics
Rhys Williams, Football
Mark Foster, Swimming
Kate Howey MBE, Judo
Kriss Akabusi MBE, Athletics
Cathy Brown, Boxer
Jane Couch MBE, Boxer
Bradley Simmonds, Football
Andy Gommersall, Rugby
Beth Tweddle, Gymnast
Rebecca Adlington OBE, Swimming
Daley Thompson, Athletics
Ian Poulter, Golf
Lee Westwood, Golf
Jonathan Edwards CBE, Athletics
Goldie Sayers, Athletics
Mark Heffron, Boxer
Nicola White MBE, Hockey
Anthony Crolla, Boxer
Christine Ohuruogu, Athletics
George North, Rugby
Becky North, Cycling

Interested in joining?