- Sandy Macaskill said the Covid restrictions for Tier 3 areas ‘absolutely no sense’
- He claimed authorities would let him have a free-for-all policy like normal gyms
- But the fitness instructor branded this ‘far inferior’ than how he wanted to open
- Gyms reopened across the country from yesterday after being closed for month
The founder of Barry’s UK has blasted the government’s ‘absurd’ Tier 3 rules that bans his fitness studios but allows other gyms to open.
Sandy Macaskill said the restrictions stopping his group exercise classes from operating in areas such as Manchester make ‘absolutely no sense’.
He claimed authorities would let him have a free-for-all policy like normal gyms but branded this ‘far inferior’ than how he wants to open.
Fitness centres reopened across the country yesterday after being closed for a month under ‘lockdown 2.0′.
They will remain open in all three coronavirus alert levels, but stricter restrictions on Tier 3 areas mean group classes are not permitted indoors.
Mr Macaskill, who founded the first UK Barry’s with his brother James in London in 2013, said moving from their current system to a free-for-all policy makes ‘no sense’.
He said: ‘We’ve been told that we have to keep our gym in Manchester closed under current government guidance which is absolutely absurd.
‘We’re being punished for our incredibly effective Covid-secure procedures, something that our government should instead be actively encouraging.’
‘Unlike most gyms, where users are free to move between equipment and gym spaces, we are incredibly well-suited to social distancing.’
The fitness instructor said his gyms have assigned spots for gymgoers and trainers on the floor to enforce social distancing.
The company have put up pleixglass dividers between treadmills, hypo-allergenic cleaning spray and microfibre cloths for clients to clean their space.
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Mr Macaskill said: ‘After months of crippling restrictions, this is a final kick in the teeth.
‘The government should be ashamed of their ill-informed approach that is threatening our industry.’
He added Barry’s is not conducting outdoor exercise classes but has been operating online workouts for clients to do from home.
Hardcore fitness fanatics eager to get back in the gym hit the weights from midnight on Wednesday as doors reopened for the first time in a month.
In Tier 2 areas gyms are open but organised indoor sport is only allowed if people can avoid mixing with other households.
In Tier 3 zones group exercise classes including fitness and dance cannot go ahead and people cannot attend live sport.
London gym boss Andreas Michli, 34, was mobbed by supporters as he threw his doors open on the stroke of midnight.
The owner was fined £67,000 and taken to court last month by Haringey Council after a stand-off with more than 30 police officers at the Zone Gym in Wood Green.
Mr Michli told MailOnline: ‘There’s no doubt in my mind we succeeded in changing the Prime Minister’s mind about allowing gyms to open.
‘He saw what was going on and he listened. But the war goes on and now it’s not just about gyms anymore. I feel like I’m fighting on behalf of businesses of all kind.
‘So many business owners are suffering, so it’s great to see the buzz here tonight and the excitement now that we are opening up again.’
Barry Jay launched the first Barry’s bootcamp in 1998 and there are now studios across the US.
Brothers Sandy and James brought the class to the UK after being blown away by the workout while in America.
An intense 60-minute class with the company claimed to burn up to 1,000 calories per session.
Barry’s has proved popular with celebrities on both sides of the pond, with David Beckham, Kim Kardashian and Jessica Alba among its visitors.