AS PUBS and restaurants get ready to reopen next Saturday, gyms and swimming pools are still stuck in limbo.

However, companies are now using this time to get their centres ready to restart into the strange new world.

The Prime Minister faced backlash over his ‘frustrating’ and ‘strange’ plan announced on Tuesday to reopen pubs, restaurants, and hairdressers on July 4, while the fitness sector remains shut.

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With gyms being potential breeding grounds for bacteria, many big chains have implemented strict safety rules to protect clients and staff.

Buzz Gym CEO Adam Stowell said he was ‘extremely frustrated’ with the Government’s latest decision.

The family-run company opened the 24-hour fitness club at the Westgate Centre in 2018, which will now look very different.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Stowell, who also runs gyms in Reading, Slough and Swindon, revealed new one-way systems were installed in the clubs to ensure social distancing.

New floor markings will show people exactly where they can train, and where not to move machines.

However, members will also be asked to also play their part: kits will have to be wiped down before and after use, and clients will have to follow current social distancing rules.

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Mr Stowell added: “When you consider the physical and mental health benefits of using a gym, I believe this country’s fitness clubs and leisure centres are key to assist the public in the fight against viruses and illnesses and of course any mental health issues that may have occurred during lockdown.”

The CEO also revealed the Westgate Centre has helped the team organise outdoor bootcamps on the roof terrace.

PureGym, which has two sites in Oxford and one in Bicester, has also introduced drastic changes to reduce the risk of coronavirus spread at its facilities.

Oxford Mail:

Its new rules include limiting the number of people in the gyms at one time, the use of automatic doors, contactless payments, temperature checks on staff and restricted access to known 'vulnerable' members.

Gym-goers will also notice marked out boxes within the floor space that will show where the space they have to stay in while they exercise.

The facilities will also be 'deep-cleaned' every night with high-grade anti-viral disinfectant.

In addition, the company will install self-cleaning stations that contain anti-viral cleaning wipes throughout the gyms.

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A spokesperson for PureGym argued that the Government’s decision to keep the fitness sector shut is a ‘strange war on obesity’.

They added: “We are extremely disappointed that the Prime Minister has decided not to include indoor gyms in his announcement today on easing of restrictions.

“Our sector provides a truly vital support to the mental and physical well-being of the UK public and specifically in the fight against Covid-19.

“We urgently call on the Prime Minister to re-examine the evidence, engage with us and our industry bodies, and allow people back into gyms as soon as possible.”