Video: Mayor: I do not accept COVID restrictions (Sky News)
The government has been urged to reclassify swimming pools, gyms and leisure centres as ‘essential services’ vital to public health – or face the prospect of thousands of facilities being shut permanently if a second lockdown is introduced.
As the Guardian revealed in June, nearly half of Britain’s public leisure centres and 20% of the country’s swimming pools risk being closed for good before Christmas – putting more than 58,000 jobs in peril – because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Related: Back us or risk losing half UK’s public leisure centres, industry warns
Even though lockdown restrictions have been eased, a third of leisure centres have still not reopened because of their parlous financial state. And amid reports that the