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UK News

Gym closures worsened people's physical, mental health, says Christian gym owner

by Tola Mbakwe

As England's second coronavirus lockdown winds down, a Christian business owner has talked about the detrimental effect it's had on people's well-being. 

Dave Courteen, founder of Mosaic Spa and Health Clubs, owns 23 gyms across the country and told Premier the lockdown has made life unnecessarily more challenging on people's health. 

"It's been well documented that mental health and loneliness are real challenges that this pandemic has created outside of the actual illness itself," he said. 

He claims gyms aren't superspreasders of Covid-19 and should have been exempt from lockdown. 

"One of the great things about health clubs is their membership base, in clubs people swipe in and swipe out. So it is really easy to track and trace the people that have actually been using the clubs.

"Because of the nature of the fact that gyms are places that people get sweaty, ventilation in gyms generally is excellent in terms of the number of air changes. So that's really important in terms of ensuring that they're not places that will easily transmit the virus."

According to gyms' trade body UK Active, the number of Covid-19 infections associated with gyms is low. It said between 5th and 11th 
October, there were only 156 cases after more than five million visits 

"I think indicates that, you know, there was no scientific reason whatsoever for gyms to close a second time," Courteen added. 
"I think the second lockdown and closing gyms this last month has been unnecessary and hasn't actually done anything to stop this 
to stop the spread of the pandemic but it's probably made life more challenging for many people."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to set out details of the revised three-tier system of controls in a Commons statement on Monday.

As well as allowing non-essential retail to reopen in all three tiers, it is expected the Prime Minister will say gyms can welcome back customers while grass roots sports will also be able to resume.

Courteen welcomes the news but said the impact of the lockdown on gyms cannot be overlooked. 

He said each month his business has closed, it's lost £45,000.

"It's fantastic news that we can get the gyms back up and open.  I think it's important obviously not only for us as a business in terms of our survival, but I genuinely think that health clubs and gyms play an important part in people's physical well-being and mental health as well. 

"I think it's going to help in terms of the fight against this pandemic, that people are able to have such venues to exercise and to meet up socially distanced in a safe way. I think it will really enhance the ability of the nation to fight off the effects of the pandemic."

Listen to Premier's interview with Dave Courteen here: 

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