Pure Gym has sprinted into the political battleground with an extraordinary attack on Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson for the decision to close gyms in ‘tier 3’ COVID-lockdown areas.
The franchise owners allege the decision to close gyms to stop COVID-19 spreading has ‘no scientific basis’. Pure Gym claimed: “The true facts and data we have at a national and local level show that gyms are safe with no evidence of COVID-19 transmission. However, research by Voice Britannia has found this to be misleading at best.
The PURE facts
The data which Pure Gym has cited as evidence of gyms being safe was produced by the government-linked sports industry think-tank “UK ACTIVE”.
The UK ACTIVE study collated data from 1300 of the UK’s 7000 Gyms for the three weeks after gyms in England reopened on the 25th July.
The study found that in the three weeks following gyms reopening, over 8 million people attended gyms. However, compared to last year that is a gigantic 70% drop in gym-users during that period. In 2019, before the pandemic, 1 in 7 people in the UK had a gym membership; And while and while a percentage of members never actually go to the gym, that percentage pales in comparison to the weekly drop-in gym due to Coronavirus.
Pure Gym has claimed that “gyms are save with no evidence of COVID-19 transmission”: which is a very questionable statement. Infact, the UK ACTIVE data Pure references as “proof” shows this to be untrue. The UK ACTIVE study states that 17 people visiting gyms in England went on to test positive for COVID-19.
The study says there were 0.020 Coronavirus cases for every 10,000 gym visits England in the three week period; Which would represent as many as 1,600 cases in a standard week of gym activity. (with 8-9 million gym users).
An exersize in post-truth
What both the study, and Pure Gym both ignore is that gyms were nowhere near as busy in July as they are now. The data Pure Gym has cited makes a persuasive argument, however in reality 100% rhetoric. Pure Gyms claims have zero factual or scientific basis.
UKACTIVE are a sports industry thinktank with links to Government.
We fully understand that businesses are worried about the future, everyone is; but health STILL comes before money. The use of politically charged rhetoric to make people ignore the risk of a highly contagious respiratory virus is disturbing. Pure Gym has very publically decided to deny-rationality and puts money before the health of their staff and customers.
Not only are Pure advocating that people ignore science during a PANDEMIC, but they are helping throw blame in the WRONG direction. Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson is not to blame for gyms having to close; And Pure Gym is not to blame for businesses feeling they must act like MP’s to protect their futures.
They blame everything we will experience in the next few months lies at the feet of our POLITICAL leaders; Instead of letting people close to the Downing Street manipulate society into blaming each other for the government’s failures, remember where the blame really lies.