By Joshua Hurn
St Chad’s College decided this weekend to formally close all gyms and exercise spaces for the foreseeable future.
The move comes after collaborative efforts between the college, university and Durham County Council Public Health led Chad’s to “review our approach to safe facility access and the delivery of face-to-face activity”.
This has meant that from 10pm on Sunday 14th February, all Chad’s gyms will have to close. The gyms were previously operated as an exercise space for households, where one household would enter at a time, and the space thoroughly cleaned between visits.
In an email sent by Alistair Jenkins, the Finance and Operations Director of Chad’s, a “a change in Government guidance for Higher Education institutions” was cited as the reason for the change.
Current government guidance requires all indoor sporting facilities to close, including gyms. Most college gyms have been closed since the U.K.’s third national lockdown began on the 6th of January.
The university currently operates under the ‘stay at home guidance’ set out by the government. This was updated on the 11th of February with clear guidance on sporting facilities in higher education environments. The new guidance can be found here. Points 14 and 15 note that “only official elite training venues can be used” and that “for official elite training venues, gyms and swimming pools can be used by elite athletes”.
Image: Adeline Zhao