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These are frustrating times for Nick Whitcombe. The owner of Body Tech Fitness Gym and Raw Iron Clothing in Liverpool recently made national headlines after the armed police attended his gym and issued him with a £1,000 fine after refusing to close in response to new lockdown rules.
Last week, Liverpool went into Tier 3 as Northern cities like Manchester and Leeds were also hit with similar measures. The impact on Liverpool has meant gyms, bars and restaurants have been forced to close during this two-week period.
Since then, Nick has joined forces with several other gyms in Liverpool to stand up against the Government and has remained open.
Despite the warnings that fines would double every three hours, Nick continues his stance and has been supported by a GoFundMe page called ‘Save Liverpool’s Gyms’ which has raised over £50,000 and continues to rise.
This lockdown has been responsible for contributing to myriad detrimental effects to people’s mental and physical health, with male suicide at an all-time high in London, and exercise has been a release for people during these uncertain times.
However, Nick has been keen to keep people mentally and physically active by providing members with a free gym kit, and following all the necessary safety measures on reopening.
Yet, laws have prevented people from having the opportunity to access the health & fitness industry, which have also caused stress and anxiety for many entrepreneurs across the country, to which Nick has highlighted the lack of evidence to support the latest measures.
From the 22 million gym visits this has only resulted in 78 covid cases as UK gyms account for only 0.38 cases per 100,000 cases according to data from UK Active.
Questions have to be asked about the decision-making of this government, and how they are causing more suffering to entrepreneurs and residents of cities across the country.