BIG fitness chains have vented their frustrations as indoor gyms and leisure centres are yet to be told they can re-open.

While pubs, restaurants and cafes have been given the go ahead to start up again on July 4, the Government decided to keep gyms and swimming pools closed to prevent the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

Buzz gym owner Adam Stowell told the Adver: “I was extremely frustrated that the government took the decision to delay the opening of our sector.

“Alongside our governing body UK Active we had set out and presented a framework to the government that shows how safely and effectively we can re-open our clubs whilst being Covid secure.”

Buzz Gym in the Brunel Centre was forced to close as the country went into lockdown in March.

Adam added: “When you consider the physical and mental health benefits of using a gym.

“I believe this country’s fitness clubs and leisure centres are key to assist the public in the fight against viruses and illnesses and of course any mental health issues that may have occurred during lockdown.

“We hold the key to ensuring the NHS is not overwhelmed with other health issues and mental issues now that the pandemic may be past its peak.”

Other gym bosses have criticised the decision and said letting pubs and restaurants reopen while keeping exercise facilities closed could lead to people becoming more at risk of Covid-19.

PureGym, which has two branches in Swindon, said in a statement: “We understand that these decisions are not easy, but it is a strange ‘war on obesity’ that sees pubs and restaurants open before gyms.

“Our facilities are, on average, the size of five or six doubles tennis courts and are exceptionally well ventilated, enabling people to work and exercise safely and securely.”

Buzz Gym has put measures in place to protect users as soon as gyms get the green light to reopen.

They include one-way systems to ensure social distancing, floor markings advising where to train and where not to move machines, hand sanitisation before entry, with multiple points in the club, a reduced capacity and a two-metre or more of space between stations.

Adam added: “Our management and team will be wearing appropriate PPE. Our members will be asked to play their part too by wiping kit down before and after use and following any social distancing rules in club.”

Scrappers gym at Sensor House is waiting for the official announcement before making its facilities Covid-secure.

CEO Olivia McCann said it is too early to make the decision to reopen gyms. She said: “We did have a meeting about opening the gym and potentially get it Covid ready but I decided to wait until the end of June because with every body going out to the beaches and all the parties, we didn’t know whether it was going to be a spike or coronavirus flare ups anywhere.

“And now what we have to do is just to wait again, and once we get more guidelines, we can then start to get ready.”

Olivia said the gym would be big enough to ensure social distancing.

“There would be no contact sport, it’ll all be fitness. As soon as they give us the announcement that gyms can open we’ll look to set up sessions. But for now, we just think it’s best for the gym to remain closed,” Olivia said.

“Because it’s currently 2m distance and now it’s been reduced but if we did have painted marks on the floor we would have to change all that again. So it’s just best to wait and see.

She added: “We’re lucky we have a lot of windows, but a lot of gyms are a lot smaller.

“People are sweating and sweat goes everywhere. So there’s not point at putting people at risk. It feel just too early to be making that decision.Safety first before anything else.”