Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation today in a speech concerning COVID-19 measures. This comes as numbers increase nationwide. There are now more people currently suffering with cases in hospitals than there were when the initial lockdown began in March. Johnson acknowledged that the economy could not bear the pressure of another full lockdown, whilst admitting action needed to be taken for areas adversely impacted.
This announcement follows a briefing with Johnathan Van Tam, Professor Stephen Powis (Medical Director of NHS England) and Dr. Jane Eddleston (Executive Medical Director of Manchester University Foundation Trust). In it, the trio outlined the current trend of coronavirus cases, emphasising the increase in testing equipment this time around means we cannot compare this wave with the previous one in Spring. What is clear, however, is that the 20-29 age demographic is booming with cases. These cases are subsequently leaking into the 60+ demographic as they balloon, suggesting the solution is not to simply ‘gate off’ the most vulnerable groups. This trend is most notable in the north west, but the trio of experts warned that the other areas are most likely to follow a similar trajectory as time passes. Studies have outlined a “sevenfold increase” in coronavirus cases amongst over 65s.
As such, a new tier system was announced by the PM. Said to be far simpler and easier to follow, it classifies the severity of COVID-19 regional cases into three tiers: medium, high and very high. Readers who missed the announcement may be wondering how the new system will impact their daily lives; our readers may also question how this will impact the availability of gyms. For an explanation, read on.
The medium alert level will cover the majority of the country for the time being. It is a continuation of the present implementations, involving the rule of six and the 10pm curfew for hospitality sectors. Areas with fewer cases can expect to fall into this category.
The high alert level is for areas with cases on a significant rise. It follows the same restrictions as the medium alert but prohibits the indoor mixing of households. Households may mix, but only outdoors, where the virus is said to be less capable of spreading. Most areas already under the restrictions of local lockdown will be moved to this alert level by default.
The very high alert level is reserved for areas with the worst numbers of cases. All contact with other households has been disallowed. The hospitality sector will be halted temporarily whilst numbers drop. As of writing, Liverpool has been classified as on “very high alert,” with measures taking effect on Wednesday 14th of this month.
Currently, London have dodged this tier, set to be put in Tier 2 (high alert) within days. This follows highs of over 7,700 cases recorded in the capital city. Manchester have also narrowly sidestepped the very high category; the city has joined London on the tenuous fringe of the high alert tier. Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is in the process of designing a three-tier system to align with the rest of the UK’s system as ‘closely as possible.’
Unfortunately, commercial gyms and personal training services will not be spared from these new measures, joining pubs and adult gaming establishments in their indefinite closure. Any area expected to fall into the very high alert will incur the same changes.
Time will only tell as to the effectiveness of these new guidelines, as Boris assured the nation that regular reviews will take place in these effected areas. In reality, many areas are holding their breath as they fear they may also soon join the third tier. A peek into the global scale of COVID-19 presents a similar case trajectory, with many countries feeling the pressure of the surging pandemic. France and the Netherlands are facing ‘record highs’ in cases. In France specifically, there is an average of 18,000 new cases per day. It is estimated that without new restrictions, 11,000 patients could need intensive care by the middle of next month. In response to this, hospitals in Paris have activated emergency measures to deal with an increase in cases. 40% of the hospital’s intensive care units are occupied with sufferers of COVID-19.
Madrid is described as being in a ‘state of emergency’ as 3000 patients are currently receiving care in the capital’s hospitals. 500 patients are currently said to be in intensive care. Madrid has long been in a state of refusal to lock down whilst being hit astronomically hard, but now they find themselves at a critical stage.
Gymgoers may be initially (and understandably) disheartened by the news, but here at Gymbeing we assure you that there are options. We lead the charge against the first wave in March, delivering gym equipment around the UK to those who needed it most, our mission hasn’t changed. We are more than prepared for this change in measures. Whether you’re a Liverpool University student, trapped in your home or find yourself in one of many areas fearing harsher measures, we will help you. Our range of equipment is ever expanding and can be accessed on this website. We offer 0% finance on our stock, with an exciting membership programme soon to be introduced. Better still, anyone who spends £100 on our website will receive a whole 12 months subscription to the service completely free.
For those of you who struggle mentally in such uncertain periods, we hear your concerns. Be sure to visit our article on mental health, found on this website.
Gyms may be set to close, but at Gymbeing, we’re tirelessly working to make sure that you can keep your fitness momentum in any scenario, whilst also respecting the virus that is building nationally.