Leeds Xercise4Less rammed from dawn as fitness fans return to gyms on reopening day
Leeds gym Xercise4Less in Kirkstall has been almost full from the crack of dawn on Monday according to one fitness fan who was there from opening.
Gyms in England have reopened today along with non-essential retail, hair salons and pubs, after closing their doors in on January 4th as part of the third national lockdown.
Extra measures have been put in place for many gyms, with sanitation stations dotted around the gym, and signs urging people to wipe down their equipment before and after use.
A Kirkstall gym, Xercise4less opened its doors this morning at 6am after a three month wait - and reached 80% capacity only half an hour later.
Sam Teesdale, a 21 year old student, said: "The queue was out the door. I would say it was roughly 80% capacity by 6.30am.
"The gym has also just been renovated, so maybe that made it slightly busier too.
“I overheard people talking saying they were feeling overwhelmed being in the same space as so many people after what feels like a lifetime.
"I did find it surreal, but it is all a part of adapting back into our regular routines and getting back a sense of normality. They provided a great experience for my first session back.”
What changes came in on Monday?
England’s shops, hairdressers, pub beer gardens and pavement cafes reopened on Monday as the coronavirus lockdown eased.
Boris Johnson urged the nation to “behave responsibly” as life took another step back towards normality, with indoor gyms, swimming pools, nail salons and zoos also welcoming customers.
Wales was also enjoy renewed freedoms from Monday, with non-essential retail reopened and border restrictions eased to permit travel again with the rest of the UK and Ireland.
Remaining school pupils returned to face-to-face teaching in Wales and Northern Ireland, in moves being echoed in Scotland as some pupils return from their Easter breaks.
The “stay at home” order in Northern Ireland also ended as the number of people permitted to meet outdoors increased from six to 10.
April snow showers made al fresco dining a chilly prospect in parts of southern England but the wintry conditions appeared to do little to dampen enthusiasm as customers queued outside shops and waited for hairdressers to cut locks after months without a trim.
Despite the relaxation in lockdown rules, social mixing indoors will remain heavily restricted, with around two in five adults yet to receive their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and the vast majority yet to get both.
The Prime Minister urged caution during the “major step forward” as a scientist advising the Government warned the rules must be followed to minimise a possible rebound in case numbers.
“I’m sure it will be a huge relief for those business owners who have been closed for so long, and for everyone else it’s a chance to get back to doing some of the things we love and have missed,” Mr Johnson said.