Waterworld owner slams 'ridiculous' new lockdown rules

Mo Chaudry has hit out at the Government's decision that means his waterpark and gyms cannot reopen under the latest lockdown rules.

He owns Waterworld in Etruria - which is currently mid-way through a £12 million expansion - the M Club fitness chain, and gym equipment supplier The Pulse Group.

Mr Chaudry has said it is ‘absurd and grossly unfair’ that pubs should be able to reopen on July 4, while indoor gyms and fitness centres must remain closed.

He said: "How can it possibly be safer for people to go back into a pub, than it is for them to set foot in a gym?

“This makes no sense at all – it’s ridiculous.

“I’m calling on the Government to urgently rethink this completely illogical policy – not just for the sake of our industry, but for the benefit of people’s health too.

“Larger indoor gyms are able to control social distancing much more easily than the majority of pubs. They are spacious, safe and excellently ventilated.

“Not only that, but the benefits of exercise are enormous to the UK population, both in terms people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

“Allowing people to lead healthier lives saves the NHS billions – on the other hand, I wonder how much it will cost them in drink-related accident and emergency cases when people pile back into the pubs.

"I believe the health and fitness industry has been betrayed by this latest nonsensical decision. 

“It makes a mockery of the Government’s long-time commitment to tackle obesity when it tells people they can go back into pubs and restaurants, but can’t visit their local gym or pool. 

“The Government itself, and its scientific advisers, have acknowledged that people who lead healthier lifestyles are at a lower risk of being seriously affected by Covid-19.

“What’s more important for people right now – to lead active and healthy lifestyles, or to be able to eat and drink out?” 

“We operate more than 25 fitness and soccer centres around the UK and employ over 600 people – as well as providing important work for a further 300 freelance staff.

“The longer these facilities stay closed, the greater the risk of job losses, particularly with furlough support being phased out.”

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