New Lockdown Measures and How it Affects the UK Sports Industry

Just like many other industries, the UK sports industry has been dealt a hard blow when the new lockdown was announced. The UK government announced that their second national COVID-19 lockdown will keep the swimming pools, gyms, and clubs will be closed from 5th November until the beginning of December.

Lockdown Restrictions

According to the UK government, both outdoor and indoor leisure facilities will be shut. As it was stated from the very beginning, the new UK lockdown measures included shutting down:

  • gyms
  • leisure centres
  • bowling alleys
  • dance studios
  • swimming pools
  • driving ranges
  • gold courses
  • riding centres and stables
  • climbing centres

In the initial announcement, tennis courts were not mentioned, but there were also other uncertainties.

For example, under-18 sports for students outside a school system were not defined or mentioned at all at the time. Also, even if you could bet online at UK casinos with 200% first deposit bonus, the betting shops closure also affected some sports such as horse racing directly. However, other sources claimed that there will be no exception when it comes to indoor sports and that minors playing sports outdoors during lockdown was unlikely.

Concerns About the New Lockdown Measures

Jane Nickerson, Swim England chief executive, had much to say about the decision made by the UK government. He claimed that the transmission of COVID-19 in a swimming pool has been inconsequential and low. Moreover, Nickerson made a remark that the aquatic sports and leisure activities are both safe.

In addition, he stated that pools and other similar leisure centres should be considered an essential service since their role in the life of many is great – especially during times like this. Jane Nickerson also said that physical activity in pools might be the only opportunity to stay activity for some people during the coronavirus crisis.

Plus, according to the Swim England chief executive, the second lockdown measures will definitely cause more damage to many sports facilities and some of them might be lost for good.

Post-Lockdown Measures

However, since the new lockdown measures are being slightly relaxed as of 2nd December, some things will change from now on. For example, sports events can resume with up to 2,000 viewers, or 50% capacity for areas in Tier 2. Outdoor sports can resume as well, with some restrictions and gyms will reopen.

On the other hand, spectator sports won’t be able to resume in Tier 3 areas of the UK, even if gyms can start reopening. Additionally, indoor entertainment and leisure venues such as bowling alleys must stay closed in Tier 3.

The most convenient COVID-19 measures for sports industry are currently for Tier 1 areas. In these areas, spectator sports can resume with a crowd of 4000 people, or with 50% of capacity.

Past and Current Consequences of Lockdowns

UK Active that stands in front of thousands of UK gyms and swimming pools is insisting that the prime minister Boris Johnson provide complete financial support for this sector of the sports industry. According to UK Active, that could significantly lower the damaging effect of the current situation, prevent business failure and employees layoff.

Apart from the damaging effect, this will possibly have on the whole sports industry, it could have more direct consequences for people as well. Tanni Grey-Thompson from UK Active stated in his letter, that the situation could even get worse as the physical and mental health of many people across the country will be jeopardized.

As claimed by Active Lives survey, 14 million people were exercising for less than half an hour on a weekly basis during the first UK lockdown. The number has increased significantly compared to the last year’s data for the same period of the year. Besides, UK Active chai warned that those number could get even higher during the colder winter months.


What this could bring to the UK sports industry is 50% of permanently closed public leisure centres and also 20% of the swimming pools. Speaking of economic crisis, this could lead to 58,000 lost jobs in the period before Christmas. Not to mention the lost revenue od sports sectors such as horse racing, which was affected by the closure of betting shops.

Also, from the mid-year statistics, up to a third of those leisure centres, struck by the COVID-19 crisis and the first lockdown never even reopened due to the financial crisis. This is why it is believed that the second lockdown might have a more devastating effect on the sports industry.

Author’s Bio

Leslie Alexander, who is a proud member of Gamblizard practically started writing when she learned how to hold the pen. Letting the words be her main tool, she started creating her own art and she wrote some of the greatest articles for Gamblizard. Apart from writing, Leslie used to be a professional editor and she is also coordinating the company’s freelance content writers at the moment.

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