The Government has announced (19.10.20) a move to Level 5 of the Living with Covid-19 Framework which will mean gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools will close. Restrictions will come into effect at midnight Wednesday 21st October for a period of 6 weeks, to be reviewed after 4 weeks.

Ireland Active the leisure and fitness sector body will seek further clarity from government as to the supports that will need to be in place to support the sector to emerge from the closure period and to understand when facilities will be able to reopen.

The impact of closure will cause enormous challenges for leisure, health and fitness businesses and their staff who have contributed to safely operating facilities since reopening. The operational implications such as maintaining pool energy costs, staff costs and lost income, along with the impact on consumer confidence are just some of the difficulties now faced by the sector.

Communities and individuals will also lose access to local facilities for exercise and swimming which is particularly difficult coming into the winter period when much of physical activity moves indoors. The sector contributes to getting over 1 million people active each week and contributes to improving peoples physical and mental health.

Ireland Active Chairperson, Joe Cosgrove said:

‘The leisure and fitness sector has been hit hard during the pandemic and we will need further government support over the coming weeks to ensure the industry is able to survive and remain viable going into 2021, contributing to a healthier and more active nation.’

Link to Level 5 restrictions for exercise and sporting events below