Thank you for your email about the importance of keeping gyms and leisure facilities open during the Coronavirus pandemic. I understand that there was a Westminster Hall debate on this issue on 23 November.

When the Prime Minister announced that there was going to be a second national lockdown at the end of October, many people got in touch with me to express their concerns about the closure of gyms, leisure facilities and swimming pools, as well as the ban on group sports.

Sporting activity and exercise are excellent for both our mental health and our physical health. That is why I was pleased that the government decided to allow gyms and leisure facilities to reopen in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 in England post-lockdown.

In November, Labour’s Shadow Sports Minister, Alison McGovern, pointed out that the government needed to create an exit strategy from the second national lockdown which would ensure that the pause to sporting activity and exercise was both temporary and as short as possible.

I am very glad that the government have finally listened to our concerns and recognised the importance of keeping gyms and leisure facilities open, especially now that the weather is colder and the evenings are darker.

I hope that you and your family are keeping safe and well. Thank you again for contacting me about this important subject. Please do not hesitate to get back in touch if you have any further points you would like to raise.

Best wishes,

The Rt Hon. Emily Thornberry MP
Islington South and Finsbury

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