Mansfield gym fined for staying open during lockdown

Gym goers were seen fleeing from police after they flouted local lockdown restrictions to weightlift and pump iron at a Mansfield gym – which deliberately stayed open despite it being illegal.

Thursday, 7th January 2021, 7:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th January 2021, 7:28 pm

When police attended World Physiques gym in Botany Avenue, Mansfield on Monday (January 4), over 20 people fled the premises, making off in their cars after being caught out.

The doors to the gym were locked and officers had to use powers under the Public Health Act to make their way inside.

England is now in a national lockdown for the third time, but on Monday it was still under Tier 4 restrictions- however, these rules still include gyms being required to close.

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All gyms are required to close under the national lockdown and under Tier 4 rules.

After speaking to two people inside, it was clear that it had been operating and allowing a number of people to attend. One was handed a fine of £1,000 for failing to comply with requirements for certain businesses to close and another was fined £200 for gathering in a group of more than two people indoors.

Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Mansfield Nick Butler said: "This was a blatant disregard for the rules and regulations which have been put in place to keep people safe from the virus.

"We are back in a national lockdown as of today, the new variant is spreading quickly throughout the country with daily infections reaching over 60,000 and over 1,000 deaths in the UK yesterday alone, so its vitally important now that we abide by these rules and keep our most vulnerable safe.

"The NHS is under immense pressure by people not following Covid laws and it is vital people cooperate to drive down infection rates and begin to return to some kind of normality. Flouting the rules means it will take longer for the lockdown to be lifted, and I'm sure that's something nobody wants.

"We're very pleased with the partnership approach we've been experiencing through Covid-19, and this work, particularly with the local council, is so important.

"By working together with our partners and taking action, such as regular patrols, acting on and sharing information given to us and handing out these fines to those flouting the law, we hope it sends a clear message to stay home, follow the rules, protect the NHS and keep people safe.

"We do also want to say thank you to the vast majority of people who we know have been abiding by the rules, doing their part and setting the example. It's extremely unfortunate that a small number of people think they can flout the rules and we will of course take firm action wherever this is the case."

Councillor Marion Bradshaw, Mansfield District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities, Housing and Wellbeing, said: “The council has been working closely with the police to ensure residents and businesses in our district adhere to the COVID-19 restrictions and we regularly share information and intelligence relating to businesses and people of concern to ensure COVID related issues are dealt with swiftly and effectively.

“Although we had not received any complaints about this gym before or since the police action, we fully support the officers in taking this action. It highlights the potential consequences for businesses should they be tempted to break the lockdown rules and we hope this is an isolated incident.”

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