No tonic for gyms

Although businesses such as pubs have been allowed to reopen, other firms such as gyms have not.

Pure Gym employs just over 1,500 workers across 265 sites, as well as providing work for 3,500 self-employed personal trainers.

Humphrey Cobbold, the chief executive of PureGym, said that the gym and fitness sector “has been forgotten and ignored.”

“It is all very well opening pubs and restaurants – and now subsidising their trade with massive VAT discounts and unlimited meal vouchers – but to be honest it beggars belief that thousands of hard working gym and fitness operators are being left high and dry with no specific support.”

“And let’s remember, unlike pubs and restaurants, many of whom have been able to earn revenue from off sales and takeaways, gym and fitness operators have had zero revenue for 110 days.”

‘Stand by your workers’

Earlier, Chancellor Rishi Sunak responded to a question in the House of Commons saying he hoped the government could make progress on reopening gyms, and that airlines and aviation “are experiencing a difficult period.”

“I remain in close contact with the industry and with individual companies to understand what is happening, and if there are things that we can and should do, of course we will,” he said.

Later, in a speech laying out the latest government stimulus plans, he said:

“While we can’t protect every job, one of the most important things we can do to prevent unemployment, is to get as many people as possible from furlough back to their jobs.”

He then laid out details of the jobs retention bonus, saying: “Our message to business is clear: if you stand by your workers, we will stand by you.”