MORE than 325,000 people and counting have signed a petition calling on the Government to allow gyms to stay open during Covid-19 lockdowns.

At the moment, gyms, swimming pools, pubs and bars have been told they will have to close if an area is moved into the Very High, Tier 3 local Covid alert level.

However, hundreds of thousands of people have signed a petition to Parliament calling on gyms to be allowed to stay open if local lockdowns are enforced.

Earlier this summer, local gyms spoke of their frustration after being told to shut during local lockdown in Bradford.

Created by Liam Brannon, the petition said: "In the event of a spike we would like you not to close gyms as a measure to stop any spread of Covid, and also for gyms to not be put in the same group as pubs in terms of risk or importance.

"Gyms are following strict guidelines and most members are following rules in a sober manner.

"The gyms are a huge benefit for users, not just physically but mentally too. There are studies that show physical exercise can be a great boost to the immune system and releases endorphins which can prevent stress and a chain of mental illnesses.

"In such a stressful time people need a viable way to exercise. Using home equipment just isn’t sufficient, unless every person in the UK has hundreds of pounds to pay out on equipment (much of which has increased in price since the pandemic)."

As the petition has passed the 100,000 mark, Parliament must consider the petition for a debate, and the Government must respond to the petition.

One gym user, who trains at the DW Fitness First gym in Birstall, said he has signed the petition.

The gym-goer, who asked not to be named, said: "Everyone in here follows the strict rules on cleaning equipment and social distancing and the staff are on top of everything.

"People need to be able to exercise and work out, it has so many health benefits, and unless there is clear proof that gyms are causing Covid to spread I don't see why they should be penalised and forced to close."