What does the Rule of Six mean for gyms?
by Emily Neill
With gyms being one of the last of things to reopen in July, the introduction of the Rule of Six in September filled me with doubt. Having only just got back into a gym routine and having a little bit of ‘normal’ back in my life, I was worried that this new rule would mean the closure of gyms yet again. But, much to my delight, this isn’t the case.
What is the Rule of Six?
The Rule of Six is a new measure that has been implemented by the government to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It mainly applies to social gatherings.
What can I do under the Rule of Six?
Firstly, for those gym-bunnies amongst you, fear not. Boris Johnson has confirmed that gyms are on the list of places which are exempt from having more than six people in attendance due to being Covid-secure (places like schools, restaurants and places of worship also fall in this category!). So, you’re still able to head to your local leisure facility (health clubs, gyms and pools). All organised outdoor sports are also exceptions to the rule.
What can’t I do under the Rule of Six?
However, what you’re not able to do is arrive at these venues in groups of more than six. Technically speaking, you could go with one other friend (socially distanced of course), but turning up with a group of your pals to do a joint gym workout together is not allowed.
Is it safe for me to go to a gym?
For gyms, fitness, sports and leisure providers to be allowed to open, rest assured that they will have stringent plans in place, according to measures implemented by the government to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Numbers will be limited, extra cleaning and hand-sanitising stations will be more readily available and gym staff will be deep-cleaning the facility much more regularly. You may also find that gym opening times will be temporarily affected.
What precautions should I be taking?
As always, if you do decide to go to the gym, there are things that we can personally do to reduce the risk of COVID-19: limit contact with others, wash your hands more regularly, and wipe down equipment both before and after you use it. It is highly recommended to bring your own water bottle and personal sweat towel if needed.
What about gym classes during the pandemic?
Under the new rule, gym classes are allowed to continue, so long as all participants are socially distanced throughout the session. The official guidelines state: “Organised indoor sport or exercise classes can take place in larger numbers, provided groups of more than 6 do not mix.”
So, in short, under this new Rule of Six, you don’t have to return to home workouts from your bedroom floor again (unless you were loving them). Gyms fall into the ‘COVID-secure’ category and therefore remain exempt from the rule. Unfortunately, for now though, those post-workout smoothie catch ups with your group of over six friends will have to wait.
By Emily Neill
Emily is our Content and Community Assistant by day, and qualified PT by… later that day. She couldn’t live without exercise (makes sense) so can usually be spotted in her favourite spin class, with our Three Mushroom Risotto for afters.