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28 Oct 2020
German gym operators consider legal action as they're forced to close as part of a month-long lockdown
By Tom Walker
German gym operators consider legal action as they're forced to close as part of a month-long lockdown
Chancellor Angela Merkel is holding talks today with the country's 16 regional state leaders, which could result in gyms closing on 4 November
Photo: Shutterstock.com/Syda Productions
Gym and health club operators in Germany are believed to be considering joint legal action against the German government, as gyms, health clubs and swimming pools in Germany are forced to close their doors for the month of November as part of a nationwide lockdown.

Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks today (28 October) with the country's 16 regional state leaders, which resulted in a decision to implement new measures in order to curb an increase in COVID-19 infections.

Under Germany's constitution and federal-based system of governance, each individual state has the final say on which restrictions to impose.

The regional leaders accepted the measures proposed by Merkel, which include the closure of all "institutions and facilities that can be assigned to leisure activities" – including gyms and swimming pools.

A draft proposal, seen earlier in the day by HCM, outlines the strict measures, alongside a starting date of 2 November.

The document also shows that the companies affected by the temporary closures will be "provided emergency aid grants to compensate them for the financial losses" by the federal government.

The central government's decision to propose a "circuit breaker" comes as infections in the country have surged to an average of 10,900 a day.

Germany becomes the latest European nation to re-introduce a lockdown of gyms and leisure facilities, in spite of reporting no COVID-19 transmissions.

Italy moved to shut its facilities on 24 October, while France ordered all gyms in major cities to close in September.

In France, more than 100 gym and health club operators signed a petition and launched legal action against the government’s decision, saying the move jeopardised thousands of jobs and was having a negative effect on citizens’ health. The outcome of this action is pending.

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