Boris Johnson has announced the date that gyms could reopen as part of his roadmap out of lockdown.
Addressing MPs on Monday 22 February, the Prime Minister set out the potential date in April that fitness centres might welcome clients back through their doors.
Gyms have not been able to open at all this year, after they were forced to close as part of the fresh nationwide lockdown in January.
People have resorted to working out from home or outside while they wait for fitness and leisure centres to reopen.
So, when could gyms reopen?
Here is everything you need to know.
When will gyms reopen?
The Prime Minister told MPs how restrictions in England, in place since 5 January, will be gradually relaxed.
A four-step roadmap has been drawn up, outlining the consecutive stages to relative normality.
It includes the initial relaxation of measures as well as the restrictions that could be eased in the coming months.
However, whether the four steps happen is dependent on strict conditions on vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants.
Step one of the roadmap includes dates for the reopening of schools and outdoor socialising, while step two focuses on the opening of non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality.
It includes a date for when gyms can reopen, which is 12 April.
That is the same date that shops, beer gardens, zoos, theme parks, hairdressers, other indoor leisure facilities and self-contained holiday accommodation could also open.
Yet whether fitness centres will open back up on this date is dependent on if four new tests are met.
Only then will the government decide whether the country can progress to the next stage out of lockdown.
The key tests are:
- The vaccinations programme continues successfully
- Data shows that the jabs are effective in reducing hospital numbers and deaths in those inoculated
- Infection rates do not risk a rapid increase in hospitalisations, which would result in pressure on the NHS
- The government’s assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of the virus which cause concern.
Ministers have said the tests are currently being met so the first stage of the roadmap will go ahead on 8 March.
Could gyms reopen at the same time?
Boris Johnson also confirmed that restrictions would be eased nationally this time around.
Covid-19 measures will be relaxed step-by-step across the whole of England, instead of a return to the regional tiered system, he said.
That means gyms in different parts of the country will reopen at the same time.
Gym owners and athletes had previously accused ministers of “ignoring the science” by closing gyms during the tier system.
They claimed not allowing people to visit fitness centres would damage their physical and mental health.
Will there be rules when gyms reopen?
Gym goers will undoubtedly need to follow certain rules when fitness centres are permitted to open their doors once more.
Throughout the tier system, this was in the form of reduced class sizes and one-way systems, but face coverings were not mandatory.
As the government is concerned about the new variants of coronavirus spreading, tighter hygiene rules could be put in place when gyms reopen.
What are the current lockdown exercise rules?
During the national lockdown, outdoor exercise is limited to once a day.
You can exercise with your household or bubble, or with one other person from another household, and you should stay in your local area for exercise.
Sports venues, including pools, gyms, tennis courts and golf courses, are closed, but playgrounds can stay open.
Amateur team sports are not allowed, but elite sport can continue.