THE reopening of beer gardens across Scotland has been widely welcomed today.

But many people are desperate for another sector to reopen – the gym.

From the start of the pandemic the Scottish Government has encouraged outdoor activity with daily exercise not only permitted but widely encouraged.

And in recent weeks there has been an easing of the rules to include more outdoor sports.

But for those keen to get back in the gym, the question remains – when will they open?

What do we know so far?

The Scottish Government promoted the idea of outdoor activity because evidence suggests it is a much safer environment compared to inside, in terms of the transmission of coronavirus.

But with shops, cinemas and hairdressers all either open or earmarked to welcome customers in the coming weeks, it is understandable why some gym-lovers are left wondering why they aren’t allowed back yet.

Glasgow Times:

Under the four-part route map out of lockdown – in which we are currently in Phase 2 – gyms and indoor fitness come under Phase 3. 

On June 24, the First Minister set out indicative dates for the remainder of the second phase, as well as some potential openings from the start of Phase 3.

Under this guidance, the reopening of indoor gyms – with physical distancing – will be “unlikely before July 23”, adding that it “will be subject to further public health advice”. 

Can you be more specific?

Currently, that is the clearest guidance from the Scottish Government on the reopening of gyms.

However, Glasgow Life – who run the city’s leisure and culture facilities – announced last week the return of some of their facilities from August 17.

This includes the use of the gym and fitness suites at Scotstoun Sports Campus. Pools, however, remain closed.

With Glasgow being Scotland’s biggest city, and the city which has seen the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country so far – it would not be a million miles away to suggest other gyms would follow suit with a date around about August 17.

What changes will take place inside?

While not a definitive list for all fitness centres, one provider, Pure Gym, have provided a list of some of the changes taking place at their venues to keep customers and staff safe:

  • Where there are lines of machines, including treadmills and cross trainers, every other machine will be out of use so that a good distance can be maintained from other gym-goers.
  • Large boxes will be marked out on the floor, so attendees can see the area they should stay within.
  • PureGym will also be limiting the number of people in the gym at any one time. 
  • The company's app will highlight how busy their gyms are at any given time, so those wishing to visit can check beforehand to avoid queues. 
  • Working out in pairs or groups won't be allowed.
  • A new cleaning policy will also be introduced, meaning both staff and gym-goers will take responsibility for cleaning the equipment.
  • Gym staff will clean kit and surfaces during the day.
  • Gyms will also be deep cleaned every night with high-grade anti-viral disinfectant.
  • Users will need to wipe down equipment and machines both before and after use.
  • Self-cleaning stations that contain anti-viral cleaning wipes have been installed throughout the gym.
  • Hand sanitising stations will also be at the entrance to the gym, and gym-goers will be asked to use these before they enter. These hand sanitising stations will also be present around the gym.