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04 May 2021
Wales beats England to group exercise reopening as lockdowns ease
By Tom Walker
Wales beats England to group exercise reopening as lockdowns ease
While Wales is the last nation in the UK to reopen facilities, it is the first to allow organised indoor group activities
Photo: Shutterstock/Bojan Milinkov
Health clubs and leisure centres in Northern Ireland reopened their doors on Friday 30 April, with Welsh facilities welcoming exercisers from today (4 May).

While Wales is the last nation in the UK to permit facilities to reopen, it's also the first to allow organised indoor group activities to resume, ahead of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Group exercise in Wales will initially be restricted to 15 people per class and activities permitted include swimming and exercise classes.

In Northern Ireland, group exercise classes won't be allowed until 24 May.

It is the first time this year that leisure facilities have been able to open for visitors in these two nations and follows the physical activity sectors reopening in England (12 April) and Scotland (26 April).

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “It has been an incredibly challenging 12 months for our sector and the recent months have been particularly hard for our members in Wales due to ongoing uncertainty around the government’s reopening timeline.

“We're pleased to see many gyms, pools and leisure centres reopen their doors, which will come as a long-awaited relief to these organisations and the communities they proudly serve.

“Our members have shown tremendous courage and resilience in the harshest of environments, having to make tough operational decisions while facing no membership income during this period of lockdown.

“These facilities are essential for the health and wellbeing of the people of Wales and can now begin again to support the physical, mental, and social recovery of the nation.

“However, we know that some facilities will not reopen and we will continue to fight hard for the financial and regulatory support still urgently required so that as many as possible are able to survive and recover fully.”

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