I’ve received lots of emails in recent days from constituents regarding the importance of leisure centres and gyms.
I agree, the physical and mental health benefits of exercise have been so important for most people throughout this pandemic.
The scientific, medical and technical advice given to Welsh Government indicates that whilst gyms may only contribute 0.1 or 0.2 to the overall R rate here in Wales, similar to pubs, or other hospitality venues and other Covid-19 secure settings, it is the collective combination that has led to the increase in the R rate. For the circuit break to be properly effective there cannot be exemptions for this 17-day period.
The medical, scientific and technical advice has been clear, that for this very short circuit breaker to work, it needs to be sharp and I am afraid, severe. By doing so, we can all return to things we love doing, safely, on Monday 9th of November.
I understand this will come as a huge disappointment to gym users, and those gyms that have worked extremely hard in recent months to make themselves and their customers COVID secure. I visited the Gym Group’s Capitol Centre gym just days prior to their reopening back in August, and I was very impressed by the measures taken to keep their gym users safe.
The First Minister has not applied the same restrictions on daily exercise that were implemented in the initial lockdown in March. Outdoor exercise is not limited to one outing per day, and as long as exercise starts and ends at home you may exercise as many times as you wish.
Whilst I appreciate this is very disappointing, if we are all able to make some adjustments for the coming two weeks we can be in a much better position for the rest of the winter.