Suggested Letter to MPs
In view of the upcoming parliamentary debate on Monday, I am writing as a constituent to ask for your support in ensuring gyms and other leisure facilities are classed as essential services and are reopened on 3rd December for the sake of all of our mental and physical wellbeing.
Encouraging and supporting people to be physically active is of critical importance at all times, but particularly during this difficult period when we are trying to live with COVID-19. It is therefore vital that we have access to places where we can exercise safely, particularly gyms, pools and leisure facilities.
Helping us to stay fit and healthy is an important part of the battle with COVID-19, directly supporting the nation’s health, wellbeing and resilience. Loss of access to gyms and leisure facilities is proven to damage activity levels significantly, as highlighted by the recent Sport England analysis, which showed a significant drop in activity levels in the first lockdown. I would also like to draw your attention to the SAGE analysis that documented a loss in access to facilities will have a detrimental impact on mental wellbeing and potentially increase health inequalities with some BAME and vulnerable groups.
Finally, there have been a number of recent studies showing that gyms and leisure facilities have sustained an impressive track record of safety and hygiene since they reopened after the first lockdown, with very low rates of infection – much lower than those seen in other sectors that have remained open.
As we enter the winter months, it is essential that we can access safe spaces to stay physically active and preserve our long-term mental and physical wellbeing. Given the proven safety record of the sector, I am asking for your support in ensuring gyms and leisure centres re-open again on the 3rd December and stay open.