Gym owner refuses to close, says 'we are not the problem'
Lockdown number two is upon us
With that, pubs, restaurants and non-essential retail - including gyms - must close from Thursday. But one gym owner in England has vowed not to close his doors this week.
Alex Lowndes owns the independent Gainz gym in Bedford. He recently posted a video to his Instagram account explaining the reasoning behind his decision to keep the gym's doors open from Thursday onwards.
Lowndes believes that exercise and fitness are essentials, helping people deal with the effect of the coronavirus pandemic. He encouraged people to work out, adding that gyms "are not the problem."
"We have done a lot of thinking and we have decided that we are actually going to stay open," said gym owner Lowndes.
"The reasons for that are laid out in a document that we have prepared, which is two full pages, contains a lot of facts, a lot of relevant information."
Earlier this month, a Merseyside-based gym owner kept his fitness facility open in the face of a local lockdown. He accepted a fine, even when armed police turned up to try and close his gym.
However, Lowndes says the situation is worse with his gym.
"No this isn't Liverpool, this isn't Tier 3, this is national lockdown.
"The same arguments apply, the same logic, the same facts. Gyms are part of the solution here, not part of the problem. We need to be allowed to stay open. We are going to stay open. We hope that becomes legal in time."
Lowndes continued, adding that exercise should be viewed as part of the solution to Covid-19.
"We all know that obesity is the biggest co-morbidity when it comes to Covid, and what has the government done about this? Absolutely NOTHING.
"In fact, they subsidised fast food, so that people could buy cheeseburgers for 45p."