Thank you for your email about the importance of sport and exercise ahead of the national lockdown in England.
Since the Prime Minister’s announcement on 31 October, I have received many emails from concerned constituents who have shared with me with their fears about what another national lockdown will mean for them and their loved ones.
Many people have expressed to me their concerns about the closure of gyms and leisure facilities as well as the ban imposed on other sporting activities, many of which clearly allow for social distancing and can be played outdoors.
Labour’s Shadow Sports Minister, Alison McGovern, has called on the government to put wellbeing at the heart of their Coronavirus plans. She said:
“We know how incredible sport is for both mental and physical health – both of which are at risk as we face further restrictions. It cannot be an afterthought in this time of crisis.”
Alison is right to point out that the government needs to create an exit strategy from this second lockdown which will ensure that any pause to sporting activity and exercise is both temporary and as short as possible.
With gyms closed, exercising outdoors during this second lockdown will not be as attractive to people as it was during the first. It is winter now. The weather is colder, the nights are drawing nearer, and many people – particularly women – will simply not feel safe enough to go out and exercise in the dark evenings.
Labour hope that the government will listen to our concerns about the impact the national lockdown will have on sport and exercise. Please be assured that we will continue to hold the Tories to account for their abysmal response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
I sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are keeping safe and well. Thank you again for contacting me about this important subject and please do not hesitate to get back in touch if you have any further points you would like to raise.
The Rt Hon. Emily Thornberry MP
Islington South and Finsbury