Friday, 10 July 2020

'Can't wait to curl for the girlsss': Britons welcome the return of gyms and nail salons after four months with hilarious memes as owners including Duncan Bannatyne praise 'vitally important' news

Locked-down Britons with bulging stomach lines have been sharing hilarious memes as excitement for the reopening of indoor gyms this month mounts.
After months of 'letting themselves go' during the coronavirus pandemic, fitness lovers were given a welcome boost yesterday when Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told them indoor gyms could reopen on July 25. 
Gym-goers quickly flocked to Twitter to express their excitement at getting back to lifting weights and using the treadmill again by sharing memes.
Female social media users also enthused at news that nail salons can reopen next week, with many relieved they won't have to do their own nails for a while.  
Other Britons were more than nervous about shifting the extra pounds piled on by being stuck indoors for nearly four months during lockdown.
The move to reopen indoor gyms was welcomed by Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne, the owner of health club and spa firm Bannatyne Group.
He said he was 'incredibly pleased' his 57 clubs in England could reopen and called the fitness sector 'vitally important, both for the nation's health and the economy'.
Locked-down Britons with bulging stomach lines have been sharing hilarious memes as excitement for the reopening of indoor gyms this month mounts
Locked-down Britons with bulging stomach lines have been sharing hilarious memes as excitement for the reopening of indoor gyms this month mounts
The move to reopen indoor gyms was welcomed by Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne, the owner of health club and spa firm Bannatyne Group
The move to reopen indoor gyms was welcomed by Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne, the owner of health club and spa firm Bannatyne Group
Gym, spa and salon owners cheered the Government's latest rollback on current lockdown restrictions to allow them to reopen sites (stock photo)
Gym, spa and salon owners cheered the Government's latest rollback on current lockdown restrictions to allow them to reopen sites (stock photo)
Gym, spa and salon owners cheered the Government's latest rollback on current lockdown restrictions to allow them to reopen sites.
Mr Bannatyne said: 'I am incredibly pleased that we have a definite date for reopening our 57 health clubs in England.
'The fitness sector is vitally important, both for the nation's health and the economy.
'In my discussions with ministers over the last week or so, I was gratified that they understood that the majority of health clubs could reopen safely and that it was essential to do so.'
The Feel Good Group, which runs 90 tanning salons across the UK, welcomed the Government's decision to allow its shops to reopen on July 13, but said they should be able to reopen immediately.
Adam Mooney, founder and chief executive, said: 'While we welcome the decision to finally allow us to reopen, the Government could have allowed us to open last week, when hairdressers reopened.
'We are ready to reopen today, not next week.
'More than 90% of our staff are women, and most in the 18 to 25-year-old age group, which is the demographic which has been worst hit financially by the pandemic, and they are very keen to get back to work.' 
Oliver Dowden yesterday announced gyms in England will be allowed to reopen from July 25
Oliver Dowden yesterday announced gyms in England will be allowed to reopen from July 25
Female social media users also enthused at news that nail salons can reopen next week, with many relieved they won't have to do their own nails for a while
Female social media users also enthused at news that nail salons can reopen next week, with many relieved they won't have to do their own nails for a while
Richard Darwin, chief executive of The Gym Group - which runs 179 gyms in the UK - said he was 'delighted' by the announcement.
But the Group, one of Britain's biggest fitness chains, revealed it had lost around a fifth of its members during lockdown - even though it froze their payments.    
The Gym Group said that 178,000 people had cancelled their memberships with one of its 179 gyms, which are mainly across England. 
Before lockdown, on March 18, the company had 870,000 members. This had dropped to 692,000 on Thursday, at an average age of 32.
Direct debit repayments will now restart, but members can request to have their membership frozen for longer.
'We are in the process of un-furloughing our colleagues, who will be ready to open the doors of our gyms in England on July 25 and in the other home nations once restrictions are lifted,' Mr Darwin said.
'We are encouraged by the response of our members, the vast majority of whom are keen to get back to the gym to begin working out again. 
'We look forward to welcoming them back and being able to continue providing affordable fitness for all.' 
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said yesterday that people will 'no longer have to work out in their park or on their living room floor' (stock photo)
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said yesterday that people will 'no longer have to work out in their park or on their living room floor' (stock photo)
Nail bars, beauticians and spas will be allowed to welcome back customers from Monday
Nail bars, beauticians and spas will be allowed to welcome back customers from Monday
Gym-goers quickly flocked to Twitter to express their excitement at getting back to lifting weights and using the treadmill again by sharing memes
Gym-goers quickly flocked to Twitter to express their excitement at getting back to lifting weights and using the treadmill again by sharing memes
Gym-goers quickly flocked to Twitter to express their excitement at getting back to lifting weights and using the treadmill again by sharing memes
According to its own research, 92 per cent of members are keen to get back to exercising at one of the The Gym Group's 160 sites in England, 13 in Scotland and three in Wales which are all set to reopen from July 25.
Two in Leicester and one that is being refurbished on London's Oxford Street will remain shut for now.
The normally round-the-clock gyms will initially open from 6am to 10pm on weekdays and from 8am to 8pm on weekends.
Staff will get their temperature checked at the start of their shifts, and the number of the people in each gym will be restricted to one per 100 square feet.
The company will also launch an app where customers can monitor how busy the gym is, and check historical trends to spot patterns of when it might be safe to go.  
'Opening safely is our primary concern and we have comprehensive plans in place for both our colleagues and members as we re-open our gyms,' Mr Darwin said.
'We are pleased to have been able to work with Government and the rest of the health and fitness sector on how best to operate in a Covid-secure way.
'Together with the Government we recognise the significant benefits of exercise in improving the nation's physical and mental well-being, particularly at this time as we respond to the pandemic.' 

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