Gyms could be allowed to reopen “in a couple of weeks” the Prime Minister has claimed.
They have been closed since lockdown began in March, but unlike so much of the economy were not given a date to reopen.
And with much of Britain is set to reopen tomorrow, may gym owners have said the industry risks collapsing if it continued to be left in the dark.
But fitness fanatics were shown some light at the end of the tunnel on Friday as Boris Johnson said gyms would be able to reopen in a “couple of weeks”, and vowed to try to get theatres going “as fast as we possibly can”.
The Prime Minister told LBC: “The best way forward for the country is to get the economy moving again … We want to get every part of our industry, including theatres, that are so vital.”
On gyms, he added: “We are going to reopen gyms as soon as we can do it in a Covid-secure way and I think that the date for reopening gyms at the moment if we can do it, is in just a couple of weeks’ time.”
Health officials have resisted gyms reopening because sweating people using a large number of objects, normally in an enclosed space, makes it almost impossible to make them Covid secure.
But gym chains have said that intense cleaning measures could make the spaces usable again.
The Prime Minister was later asked why restrictions on going to the pub will be lifted on a Saturday, which typically sees a higher rate of alcohol-related issues for police and the NHS.
Speaking on LBC, Boris Johnson said: “We thought about this carefully and I think we wanted to give pubs time to prepare, we wanted a date early in July and when I look at what is happening I hope very much that people will behave responsibly and enjoy summer safely.
“I hope this will be a reasonable time for people to get ready to enjoy themselves in the weekend but to do it in a safe way.”
When pressed by host Nick Ferrari on why Saturday was chosen rather than Monday and whether he only “hoped” it would be safe, Mr Johnson added: “It’s not on hope, it’s based on a clear understanding of the statistical risks that we now face as a country.
“We’ve progressed thanks to the efforts of the British people from an incidence of the disease at about one in 400 a few weeks ago to maybe one in 2,200 today. You’re appreciably less likely now to be in close proximity to someone who has it than you were even a couple of weeks ago.
“We’re making progress, we aimed for July the 4th, we wanted to set ourselves a target, we think we’re in good shape but my message is let’s not blow it.”